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George C. Scott,
Trish Van Devere,
The early 1900's with its Mann-Act (disallowing women to be transported across State lines for immoral reasons) brings a married man to devise a scheme for taking his upper-class girlfriend away with him... he simply has her marry his unmarried buddy. However, it doesn't take very long before both men start laying claim to her affection... until, that is, she's about to be cut out of her parent's fortune. So, a new scheme is devised, which only adds to their problems, as well as to the sly whimsy of this film. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mike Nichols who directed The Fortune would not direct a feature film again until Silkwood in 1983. He was obviously hurt by the critical and commercial failure of this film.
Warren Beatty should realise that he is just not cut out for a certain style of comedy. This film was inspired by the success of the scatterbrained homage to the 1930s comedies, What's up Doc and the crime caper The Sting.
It is a zany screwball comedy set in the 1920s. Warren Beatty is a sleazy, handsome, married con man who in an attempt to sidestep a piece of legislation where you cannot take an unmarried woman across a state line, gets Jack Nicholson his dim witted accomplice to marry an heiress (Stockard Channing) and fly out to California so Beatty can have his wicked ways with her.
However Nicholson takes a shine to Channing and keeps getting in the way and wants Channing for himself rather let Beatty just have her.
When Channing learns that the boys are just after her fortune she tells them that she will give it away to charity. They now plan to murder her for her money but every attempt to knock her off ends up in disaster.
Nicholson and Beatty are just too incompetent to succeed with their plan. Nicholson's character probably inspired by all of The Three Stooges keeps drawing attention to himself when the trio are supposed to be in California incognito as Channing has run away from her wealthy family. For example, there is a bizarre scene on the plane where he ends up in the outside of the plane knocking on the window and looking demented.
The film is too messy and the humour feels forced, it looks like a series of sketches that just fly by you without even raising a smile in most instances.
It is a rarely shown and barely known film. I stumbled across it on television and did not know that Beatty and Nicholson appeared together prior to the film Reds.
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