Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Nicole's father, a legendary art collector, lends his prized Cellini Venus to a prestigious Paris museum. Unfortunately, the Venus was *not* sculpted by Cellini but by Nicole's grandfather. (Her father is a forger as well, but his specialty is paintings.) Before tests can be done which would prove the Venus a fake, Nicole enlists the services of "society burglar" Simon Demott to steal the million dollar statue. Written by
The police escort vehicles featured in the beginning sequence are as follows: a 1965/66 Citroen DS-21 unmarked police sedan, a 1965 Citroen Type H Police van, and a '65 Citroen H delivery van. The Citroen DS-21 sedan, designed by famed industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni, is a particularly noteworthy addition to this movie as its futuristic and aerodynamic signature concept design, along with its innovative technology - the first mass-produced car to feature front disc brakes - caused the DS to be named "the most beautiful car of all times" by Classic and Sports Car Magazine. See more »
When Simon replaced the Venus with the beer bottle he placed the bottle near the edge of the green plinth but when the guard is pointing at the bottle it is in the center of the plinth. See more »
What makes a movie like this so wonderful? It's probably just an age thing (I remember seeing this movie at the cinema), but when I saw it again recently I just felt a sense of joy and pleasure and, yes, optimism. Now these are words that may be almost incomprehensible to today's jaded, cynical and, often, brutalised audiences, and I am sure that many would see this movie as slow, naive and totally irrelevant.
But for me the effortless playing, the perfect timing and understated sophistication is so much more intelligent, witty and rewarding than the clunking, crude sign-posted so called "rom-coms" of today.
This is not their best film by any means, but to watch O'Toole and Hepburn playing off each other with such natural and fluent grace is simply magical. Lighthearted fluff like this completely works when the actors really know what they are doing.
And has there ever been anybody who is simultaneously so sophisticated and vulnerable as Audrey Hepburn? There is a scene where she is wearing a chaste little nightdress and she put on a pair of ordinary street galoshes. As she clumps across the room she displays more sex appeal and sheer class than any of today's moussed up, made up, blown up actresses could ever comprehend.
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