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Edward Everett Horton,
Pat Harrington Jr.
This movie is apparently based on a German play, made by the Spanish and starring the British. Like most sex comedies it has a slight plot and is dependent on the actors.
Film opens with a tired British businessman (Leslie Phillips) complaining to his doctor (Frank Thornton) about his lack of sex drive. His wife (Sue Lloyd) sends him to Spain, with four beautiful models, to shoot ads for their lingerie line. There he meets a down on his luck school chum, British aristocrat (Terry-Thomas) who is scheming to pass off some deplorable Spanish wine as more expensive French wines. He in turn is assisted by his loyal chauffeur/houseman (Graham Armitage), who also runs interference with the local population. Realizing that the wine is undrinkable Terry-Thomas has Armitage collect various herbs etc. to improve the taste. By accident they include spanish flies, an aphrodisiac, in the mixture. Terry-Thomas tries the wines out on Phillips and the models, obviously resulting in a night of passion. Phillips arranges to buy a thousand bottles but his wife, in London, notes the huge expenditure and comes to Spain to investigate. At the same time Armitage has been paying off all the local bills in wine. Unfortunately Terry-Thomas forgot to check the "side effects", other than arousal, from the use of Spanish Fly. As everyone starts barking like dogs he and Armitage seek their escape.
While the models parade around in lingerie the actual nudity in the film is limited (a topless shower scene by model Andrea Allan).
The main interest in the film is the leads: Terry-Thomas and Leslie Phillips. Unfortunately neither one is at their prime. Terry-Thomas was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease four years before this movie and would make another five movies before he was forced to retire three years later. While I have not seen all of these later movies, Terry Thomas's roles in the two or three I saw were limited cameo's and I suspect that Spanish Fly may have been his last featured lead. He appears tired and his performance pales in comparison with the gleeful cads of prior years. Leslie Phillips would make one more movie before taking a decade long sabbatical from film (and returning as a character actor). In prior films he was always the "naughty boy" who couldn't say no to beautiful girls. Here he appears disinterested and even the presence of four beautiful models can't put a sparkle in his eye. The old adage is that comedy is in the reaction not the action. Graham Armitage comes off best, having the opportunities to react to Terry-Thomas, Leslie Phillips, the girls and the local population. Frank Thornton has a walk on, presumably to exploit his fame from the Are You Being Served? TV series. Sue Lloyd is largely wasted. The models are pretty but, aside from Naduiska and Andrea Allan, basically have one line roles. Tech credits are OK and the Spanish locale is scenic.
Leslie Phillips and Terry-Thomas still retain interest but I was left with a sense of sadness considering what they would have done with their scenes in better days.
All in all the movie is an acceptable timewaster.
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