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
After Nicole (played by Audrey Hepburn) dresses up as a cleaning lady, Simon Dermott says "That does it. For one thing, it gives Givenchy a night off." Hubert de Givenchy was Audrey Hepburn's costume designer. See more »
After shooting Simon, Nicole drive him to the Ritz, on the place Vendome. We see them arriving on the place Francois Ier from the Francois Ier street. This means they are going in the opposite direction, away from the place Vendome. Then, from the place Francois Ier, we see they take the Jean Goujon street, which means they are now on the right way. However, it would have been faster to turn back through Francois Ier street. See more »
Leave aside for the moment the two leads, Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole, both at the very pinnacle of their star power and attractiveness. Leave aside, too, the brilliant support of two comedy masters, Eli Wallach and Hugh Griffith. And the sheen of William Wyler's direction, honed to perfection over a long, award-winning career. And the sparkling dialogue of old-pro scenarist Harry Kurnitz. And the beautiful location photography in that most beautiful of cities, Paris. And John Williams' sprightly score, and the rich production design, and the exquisite costumes, and every other perfectly-executed facet of this gleaming gem of a film. And concentrate on one single moment: in the museum, in the cupboard under the stairs, when Audrey Hepburn's character realizes that Peter O'Toole is going through everything he's going through, including breaking the law even though he's a policeman, simply because he's fallen in love with her. The expression on Hepburn's face is one of those truly sublime moments that make movies what they can be: bigger than life, more real, more joyous, more true. And for that alone we can be grateful that this movie is available for us and our posterity to enjoy.
35 of 40 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?