In this comedy-satire on conformity, Dick Van Dyke plays a Manhattan bank teller who grows a beard when he develops a rash from a bee sting. He is promptly fired from his job while his ... See full summary »
In this comedy-satire on conformity, Dick Van Dyke plays a Manhattan bank teller who grows a beard when he develops a rash from a bee sting. He is promptly fired from his job while his co-workers stand behind him. Angie Dickinson plays his wife. Written and directed by Garson Kanin ("Born Yesterday"). Written by
This side is for Birds and Beads, Communal Grooving, Zen Dens, Walking On The Grass... This side is for Law and Alphabetical Order, Button-Down Brains, 5:57 to Rutsville, Keeping Off The Grass... See more »
It is obvious that Van Dyke was begging his agent to get him something different to prove that he could play a lead character that was unlikable. He must've admired his friend Andy Griffith's bravura performance in "A Face In The Crowd" very much. Friend Carl Reiner directed him in the overlooked gem, "The Comic" in 1968. Van Dyke and the script were perfect, but the movie bombed, thus threatening to pigeonhole him more than ever in Disney-ish tripe. Mind you, I'm just extrapolating from the facts I know, but it sure seems that Van Dyke was a desperate man when he agreed to star in this uneven amalgamation of nihilist farce, cultural satire, and moralistic claptrap. And Van Dyke seemed determined to force the darkest side of his unreasonably unlikable and self-destructive character down the audience's throat. I found it very hard to take in the theaters as an adolescent, but recently watched it on tape to see if I felt the same way as an adult. Not quite. As an adult, I found it a fascinating time capsule but otherwise, an all-too-annoying and impossible attempt to capture the essence of theater d'absurd with American TV actors, then compounding its own futility by eventually copping out on its only reason to exist.
Avoid this mess unless you are doing a film studies paper.
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