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.
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
Baltimore industrialist Wendell Armbruster crosses paths with London shop girl Pamela Piggott when they come to Ischia to pick up the bodies of her mother and his father, who have been killed in an automobile accident after a ten-year summertime affair. Straitlaced Wendell tries to avoid a scandal while free-spirited Pamela is impressed by the romantic setting. After some confusion with the bodies and a blackmail attempt by unscrupulous locals, Wendell and Pamela extend their parent's affair into the next generation. Written by
When recording the eulogy, Wendell says "The evil that men do", and then interrupts himself. This is a quotation from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" (Act 3, Scene II). The full line is "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones". See more »
The five Wall Street Journal copies on the table are all the same date. See more »
Come In! -- And Enjoy an Enchanting Romantic Comedy!
Billy Wilder & Jack Lemmon didn't go straight for the belly laughs in this departure from their usual all-out-crazy comedies. Fans of the masters will be pleasantly surprised by this delightful romantic comedy, which captivates the viewer from the very start. Mezmerizing backdrop music plays as though secretly staged by Cupid standing by to assure that lovebirds will find one another. Lemmon plays the son of a mega-wealthy American business man who had to drop everything to fly to Italy in order to claim the father's remains after a car accident. En route to his late father's "final stop", Lemmon runs in to a persistent young woman, who turns out to be the daughter of the woman with whom the father had had a lengthy affair, and who was found lovingly slung around his neck as they both died in said accident.
The situation seems rather awkward at first, but eventually Lemmon and the young woman begin following into the exact same steps their departed parents had done years earlier. The picture is completed by a brilliant supporting cast of hotel personnel and colorful locals. The performance of the multi-talented and ever-present-minded hotel manager was Oscar worthy.
Listening to the testimony of all people asked, Lemmon learns that his late father and his "friend" were viewed as Royalty, nothing less than figures from a fairy tale. The concluding scenes are the final touches to a most enchanting romantic comedy, one that has few rivals in its category. Billy Wilder has done it again. What he missed in big laughs, he made up in many magic moments and gentle pressures to your tear glands. One of the very best out there. Belissima!
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