The World's Greatest Lover (1977)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  13 February 1978 (Denmark)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,426 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 10 critic

A neurotic baker travels to Hollywood to attend a talent search for an actor to rival the great Valentino. Although not an actor, through blind luck he succeeds - to a certain degree!



0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The younger brother of the consulting detective tries to steal Sherlock's glory by solving an important case assisted by an eccentric Scotland Yard detective and a lovely but suspicious actress.

Director: Gene Wilder
Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman
Hanky Panky (1982)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The complete innocent, Michael Jordon, is drawn into a web of secrecy and government secrets when a girl carrying a mysterious package gets into a taxi with him. When she is later murdered, Michael is the chief suspect and on the run.

Director: Sidney Poitier
Stars: Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Kathleen Quinlan
Horror | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Larry Abbot, speaker in the radio horror shows of Manhattan Mystery Theater wants to marry. For the marriage he takes his fiancée home to the castle where he grew up among his eccentric ... See full summary »

Director: Gene Wilder
Stars: Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Dom DeLuise
Silver Streak (1976)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On a long-distance train trip, a man finds romance but also finds himself in danger of being killed, or at least pushed off the train.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Jill Clayburgh
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

On his way to work, Teddy spots Charlotte - an incredibly beautiful Woman in Red. He really wants to meet her - but what would his wife say?

Director: Gene Wilder
Stars: Gene Wilder, Kelly LeBrock, Charles Grodin
Rhinoceros (1974)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A boozing young man in love with his co-worker finds that everyone around him, even his pompous and condescending best friend, is changing into a rhinoceros.

Director: Tom O'Horgan
Stars: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Karen Black
Stir Crazy (1980)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Skip and Harry are framed for a bank robbery and end up in a western prison. The two eastern boys are having difficulty adjusting to the new life until the warden finds that Skip has a ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Poitier
Stars: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Georg Stanford Brown
Sunday Lovers (1980)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A sex comedy anthology containing four stories, each from a different country (England, France, USA and Italy).

Directors: Bryan Forbes, Édouard Molinaro, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Roger Moore, Lino Ventura, Ugo Tognazzi
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Polish rabbi wanders through the Old West on his way to lead a synagogue in San Francisco. On the way he is nearly burnt at the stake by Indians and almost killed by outlaws.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Gene Wilder, Harrison Ford, Ramon Bieri
Certificate: M Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two mismatched sets of identical twins - one aristocrat, one peasant - mistakenly exchange identities on the eve of the French Revolution.

Director: Bud Yorkin
Stars: Gene Wilder, Donald Sutherland, Hugh Griffith
Another You (1991)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

George has been in a mental hospital for 3 years and is finally ready to go out into the real world again. Eddie Dash, a dedicated con-man, is supposed to keep him out of trouble, but when ... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Phillips
Stars: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mercedes Ruehl
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In Dublin, a working class family has been unsuccessful in convincing their son to get a real job: the son prefers his job of scooping up horse's dung and selling it for flower gardens. An ... See full summary »

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Gene Wilder, Margot Kidder, Eileen Colgan


Cast overview, first billed only:
Rudy Hickman
Annie Hickman
Adolph Zitz
Fritz Feld ...
Tomaso Abalone
Mark Silberman ...
Cousin Buddy
Robert Ball ...
Bald Man (as Robert E. Ball)
Randolph Dobbs ...
Yes Man #1
Sandy Rovetta ...
Woman Dancer
Hannah Dean ...
Rita Conde ...
Whore #1
Whore #2
Teda Bracci ...
Whore #3
Elaine Everett ...
Whore #4
Gustaf Unger ...
Harry Gold ...
Freddie the Runner


In the early 1920s Hollywood, Adolph Zitz, who surrounds himself with yes men, wants his movie studio, Rainbow, to be the greatest in town by making a movie called the "World's Greatest Lover" and finding that next star to outshine Rudolph Valentino as the renowned screen lover of his time. Mild mannered and somewhat hapless Rudy Hickman dreams of being such a movie star, he daydreaming about it so much that he is unable to hold onto his bakery jobs. With his supportive but highly hysterical wife Annie Hickman by his side, Rudy, using the stage name Rudy Valentine, pulls up stakes from Milwaukee and heads to Hollywood to try out for that part. He ends up getting a screen test like the thousands of other hopefuls flooding Hollywood for the chance. Annie, who loves the movies herself but who is naive from not having had much exposure to the world, has ulterior motives for going to Hollywood. Both Annie's Hollywood mission and Valentino himself will affect what happens to Rudy in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Go ahead - laugh!




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

13 February 1978 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

O Maior Amante do Mundo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of Boss is not billed by his personal name in the closing credits but only as "David Huddleston's Father". See more »


This film is supposed to take place in the 1920s silent movie era, yet the movie extras riding in the bus to their location sing-along to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo", a Harry Warren-Al Dubin song written for the 1933 sound film "42nd Street." See more »


Rudy Valentine: I don't wanna be Rudy Hickman! I'm selling the furniture, I'm selling the car, I'm changing my name and we're going to Hollywood.
Annie Hickman: Hollywood?
Rudy Valentine: Yes. I'm gonna try out for that movie contest.
Annie Hickman: But, Rudy...
Rudy Valentine: My Uncle Harry knows people out there. He can help us.
Annie Hickman: Rudy, there'll be thousands of men.
Rudy Valentine: I can win it.
Annie Hickman: They'll be coming from all over America.
Rudy Valentine: I can win it.
Annie Hickman: Rudy, they'll be professionals.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a credit to Frederico Fellini, who was not on the picture, 'for encouragement at the right time'. See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »


You Oughta Be in Pictures
Music by Dana Suesse
Played when Rudy walks on the set for his audition
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gene Wilder's tragi-slapstick masterpiece
28 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie studies a handful of themes, among them: romantic problems, issues of the individual versus conformity, and beauty versus mediocrity. It is set during the Hollywood silent movie days, when Rudolph Valentino was the rage. Wilder plays the lead role, the husband of a Valentino fan, who has to muster up the sexy man in himself in order to save the day. The sets are lush, Carol Kane is gorgeous, Wilder gives one of his most heartbreaking performances, and Harry Nilsson devotes his song "Ain't it kind of wonderful" to the soundtrack. Very ambitious, especially considering that Wilder wrote, directed and produced it.

Yes, it's true some of the gags are dated or overdone, but there are other things to enjoy. It's in the same league as Woody Allen's early slapstick comedies, like "Sleeper" and "Play it again, Sam", as well as the Mel Brooks' oeuvre.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favorite scene mda-11
I loved this movie chaosrainz
Finally on DVD! badtzxo
DVD? mbrown118
Uncle Harry dave387
Exactly what year is this supposed to take place? bheck1
Discuss The World's Greatest Lover (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: