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Boeing, Boeing (1965)

 |  Comedy  |  22 December 1965 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,674 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 13 critic

A friend visits his philandering friend just as that man's scheme of being secretly simultaneously engaged to three flight attendants goes awry.

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Title: Boeing, Boeing (1965)

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bernard Lawrence
...
Robert Reed
Dany Saval ...
Jacqueline Grieux / Air France
...
Lise Bruner / Lufthansa
Suzanna Leigh ...
Vicky Hawkins / British United
...
Bertha
Lomax Study ...
Pierre
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Storyline

American playboy Bernard Lawrence has cleverly designed a system using the airline timetables to keep going three affairs with flight stewardesses. However, his life soon starts to descend into a shambles after the arrival of a friend, Robert Reed, and a dreaded change to the flight order, whereby it becomes increasingly difficult to keep his three fiancées apart. Written by David Gibson <djg6@ukc.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Big Comedy of Nineteen-Sexty-Sex! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

22 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boeing Boeing  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last film that Jerry Lewis made for Paramount Pictures, marking the end of a seventeen year association. See more »

Goofs

Reed gets in the cab through the left door; then we see him inside sitting on the right side of the taxi and the girl is on the left. See more »

Quotes

Bertha: You don't need a maid. You need the mafia.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The three actresses who play the flight attendants have their physical measurements listed in small print under their names. Instead of measurements, Thelma Ritter has (?-?-?) by her name. See more »

Connections

Remade as Les nymphomanes (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mishandled opportunities...
29 March 2006 | by (Honolulu, Hawaii) – See all my reviews

Unlike several of the IMDb reviewers who have obviously grinded their sexual/political axe when viewing it through their tinted prisms - I never go into a film with a 21st century predisposition. Still, this is a difficult movie to critique, even taking into consideration the period and accepting the mindset when this movie was filmed.

Clearly this falls into the farcical light comedies of the late 50's/early-mid 60's. Exemplfying the male 'heaven' where a dashing global man of means has several beautiful women (airline "hostesses" no less) plugged into his sexual carnival. But even taking this into account - 'Boeing Boeing' fails to deliver the barrel full of expected suggestive laughs. Levity is there of course, but very sporadic and uneven.

How and Where specifically?

Difficult to define. As both Curtis and Lewis bring their talents to bear, I can only point to the director, John Rich. He tries to capture the 'martini' energy of similar films of the period - 'Some Like It Hot' or 'The Love God?' - but lacked the skill to mesh the cast and material together. (not surprising to discover that he's a TV director and this was his one and only directorial attempt at a feature film) But equally at fault is a script clearly written for the rambling open stage - forced into the constrained demands of film. The harried and frenetic pace reflects a haphazard adaptation of the stage production material.

Rule of thumb to filmmakers: If your viewing audience needs a scorecard to keep track of the players and plot directions - your film needs new a edit, maybe even a new editor.

And scenes that should create sexual tension fall flat as they compete against, and not blend into or with, the slapstick. Conversely, slapstick scenes, which should've brought the skills of Curtis and/or Lewis to the forefront, dribble because they're competing against the sexual energy the scenes actually calls for. An example: When Jerry is "ordered" to massage Ms. Lufthansa - the scene itself isn't filmed; nor is Tony's natural reaction when this event is discovered. Both missing scenes would've led to hilarity. Can you imagine Lewis oiling up and slipping/sliding over Ms. Lufthansa who is curtly directing where he should put his hands or how hard he should push? Or Curtis confronting Lewis, while still covered in oil? Opportunity lost. Instead, the film cuts to Lewis wiping down his hands still *completely dressed* in suit and tie! He then snidely comments "It was like oiling down a baby whale." So is he supposed to be lusting after Ms. Lufthansa, as presented throughout the first half of the film? Or is he disgusted that she's a large woman and he did it only to fulfill her demands as suggested in the second half? Indecision on the part of the director = no laughs.

The entire film is a bunch of similar set-ups with mishandled deliveries. Imagine simultaneously being told ten jokes, but the punchlines are delivered out of order and left for you to decide what fits best and when.

Others have noted the incredible anchor of this film: Thelma Ritter. Cast into the role of 'straight man' against the wackiness of her male co-stars, her character steals this film. Notably, scenes with her in it are where the laughs can be found. This is both enjoyable and sad. So much potential and missed opportunities. It was all 'there' - if only this movie had the right director at its helm.

Because there's not enough laughs to justify purchasing this film at current market prices, which is considerable given it's "OOP" or "LOOP" status, this one is only for true devotees of the genre - or for dedicated fans of Tony Curtis and/or Jerry Lewis.


10 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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