Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. ... See full summary »
Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. Although the women are wealthy in their own right, all have good reason to covet his fortune. To assist him in his scheme, Fox hires William McFly, a gigolo and sometime actor, to act as his secretary/servant. Fox is soon visited at his "deathbed" by the three former mistresses: Merle McGill, a fading Hollywood sex symbol; Princess Dominique, who once took a cruise on Fox's yacht; and Lone Star Crockett, a Texas hypochondriac who travels with an enigmatic nurse/companion. As Fox and McFly act out the charade, things take an unexpected turn from comical farce to full-blown murder mystery. Written by
The great Italian cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo died suddenly of hepatitis (aged only 45) during the making of this film, with many weeks of the five-month shooting schedule to go before completion. His operator, Pasqualino De Santis, took over as director of photography but refused credit in this capacity, although he would quickly go on to international renown with his work for Visconti, Zeffirelli, Losey and others. See more »
Nothing like gold to pass the time. It is even the color of time... Gold. How little most people value time, little people. Like everything else, they will choose what's more, not what's better. Even time, they will pray to live 100, long, miserable years and feel cheated if they had say 50 of the best. Quantity yes, quality no. Venice is tiny and precious. Los Angeles is gigantic and terrifying. Who wants it? Most people, that's who. There's good time and bad time, you know, the clocks don't ...
See more »
Taking an inspiration from his favorite Jacobean play, Ben Jonson's Volpone, fabulously wealthy Rex Harrison hires an out of work actor Cliff Robertson to play an elaborate practical joke on three women who've been part of his life. Robertson's to play his confidential secretary and assistant and to send them letters inviting them to Venice where Harrison is pretending to be dying in his palazzo.
To be sure these are three women to die for indeed. There is Princess Capucine with a title, but little else going for here as she becomes one of those permanent house guests on the Riviera. Then there's movie star Edie Adams originally from the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn whose best days as a film star are behind here and not enough money is coming in to keep up with her lifestyle spending. Finally there is the mysterious and earthy Susan Hayward. Imagine if you will Susan as Rachel Jackson, but with a malevolent twist and you've got her character. She's also a hypochondriac and travels with nurse/companion Maggie Smith.
The joke's proceeding great until Hayward winds up dead and the police in the person of Inspector Adolfo Celi is brought in. Joseph Mankiewica's literate script glides ever so gently from comedy of manners to murder mystery. And not like everyone of them hasn't got reason to do in Hayward. Just see the film and you'll know what I mean.
Sad that The Honey Pot failed to find an audience. Also sad that it was two years from the Stonewall Rebellion, Harrison's bisexuality was not more explicit. In regard to that read Hayward's comments on their lives together and the dialog exchanges between Harrison and Robertson.
In fact The Honey Pot does turn out to be an elaborate joke, but you have to see who winds up winners and losers in this very intelligent and witty film.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?