5.9/10
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The World's Greatest Lover (1977)

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!

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mark Silberman ...
Cousin Buddy
Robert Ball ...
Bald Man (as Robert E. Ball)
Randolph Dobbs ...
Sandy Rovetta ...
Woman Dancer
Hannah Dean ...
Maid
Rita Conde ...
Whore #1
...
Whore #2
Teda Bracci ...
Whore #3
Elaine Everett ...
Whore #4
Gustaf Unger ...
Producer
Harry Gold ...
Freddie the Runner
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Storyline

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

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Go ahead - laugh!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

13 February 1978 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

O Maior Amante do Mundo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie cost about twice as much as Gene Wilder's previous film The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975) but took at the box-office about the same as that film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Annie Hickman: Rudy, what are we gonna do? They think you're a famous movie star. We can't pay for this. Oh, my god! Rudy, Rudy, did you see the bathroom? Rudy, there's seven towels in the bathroom. Rudy, Rudy, we can't afford this.
Rudy Valentine: Don't talk about money.
Annie Hickman: But, Rudy, we only have...
Rudy Valentine: My soul is on fire! Don't talk to me about money!
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Lørdagshjørnet: Gene Wilder (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Fascination
(uncredited)
Written by F.D. Marchetti
Instrumental version played on the violin in Valentino's tent and at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oh Boy, look at those Gams!
16 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A neurotic baker goes with his wife to 1920s Hollywood for a screen test. However, his wife is obsessed with star Rudolph Valentino, and decides to chase after him, and well, nutty mishaps ensue.

While I do like this film as a guilty pleasure, I have to be critical and come clean: World's Greatest Lover is an uneven comedy that sums up the excesses of these wacky 70s comedies. But first, the good: The production values and score by underrated master John Morris (a Brooks regular, as well as Lycnh's Elephant Man) deliver, recreating the 'Old Hollywood' feel of the 1920s, and the actors are never awful, with the great Dom Deluise in fine form as the cartoonish studio boss.

But it's the humour is what makes the film hard to recommend: it follows an basic formula of slapstick, awkward situations and plenty of shouting and eye-bogging from Gene Wilder. Rise and repeat for an hour an a half, and that's the film. Dear old Gene has no control (he wrote, starred, directed and produced this) and without the steady hand of someone like Mel Brooks, he goes way past over-the-top, and almost creates something more like someone parodying Wilder, screaming like a banshee every couple of seconds. He himself is not necessarily terrible, but less generous viewers will be grated. However, his opening dream dance number is quite fun, and probably the film's highlight.

It's worth owning if you're a hardcore fan of Wilder, and it's taken a LONG time to finally receive a DVD, but, aside from aficionados, you're better off with Young Frankenstein or Blazing Saddles.


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