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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:
...
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 ...
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

Taglines:

Go ahead - laugh!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

13 February 1978 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

O Maior Amante do Mundo  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though Gene Wilder's character real name is Rudy Hickman who parades as Rudy Valentino, the character is billed as only Rudy Valentino in the closing credits with no mention of Rudy Hickman. See more »

Goofs

Interior of tour bus has sky lights that don't appear in exterior shots of vehicle. See more »

Quotes

Adolph Zitz: All right! We'll get lovers from every big city and hick town on the map. Because, gentlemen, I promise you that within two weeks, every male in America between the ages of 17 and 55 is going to stop for a moment and at least think about coming to Hollywood to screen test for the biggest chance of his life - the chance to star in the new Rainbow Studios film: The World's Greatest Lover! Now! How's that for an idea?
Yes Man #1: Great!
Yes Man #2: Gweat!
Sven, Yes Man #3: Great! Yoost great!
[points to the barber]
Barber: Very good...
[...]
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 »

Connections

References 42nd Street (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Shuffle Off to Buffalo
(uncredited)
Written by Al Dubin & Harry Warren
Sung by the movie extras on the bus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I love you now, I loved you when we first met, and even after you'd forgotten all the pain I've caused you and perhaps even forgotten me, I'll love you then."
15 June 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

1977 brought the second attempt of Gene Wilder to produce, direct, write and star in another film. The World's Greatest Lover was a varsity effort by the new director to produce a piece based on a movie star in the 1920's. Gene Wilder stars with Carol Kane, and Dom DeLuise to tell the tale of a man who chases his dream of movie stardom by traveling to Hollywood answering the call for a search for the world's greatest lover. Sometimes, it takes traveling far from home to realize that you already have everything you could ever want.

Hollywood studio head Adolph Zitz (Dom DeLuise) is competing with the strapping, good-looking, Errol Flynn-esque star of another studio. Zitz decides to post a call asking for men across the country to come to Hollywood and audition for his film The World's Greatest Lover and become a star. Meanwhile, back home in Milwaukee working in a bakery, meek Rudy Hickman (Gene Wilder) dreams of being such a movie star and decides to travel with his bored and listless wife, Annie (Carol Kane) for the audition. All of his life Rudy has wanted to work in the movies and be a star, he daydreams of stardom so much he neglects his work and is unable to keep a job. Rudy ends up getting a screen test, and as his excitement builds with his dream getting closer to reality, his wife is sucked into the Hollywood lifestyle and attempts to have an affair with the famous screen actor Rudolph Valentino. Realizing that he is losing grip on the life he has in search of the life he longs for, Rudy must make the decision to leave his dream in his head, or risk losing everything to chase it.

What to say about The World's Greatest Lover, you can tell Gene Wilder was incredibly ambitious and wanted to become a director. Much like The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, Wilder was unhinged in this venture and clearly does better starring in a film that he is not directing. He would have been better if deciding to continue directing not having a starring role in the film. The film starts out with a good premise, then loses its story with poor fluidity and wild performances from all actors involved. There were a few good gags, and it was a nice homage to classic silent cinema, but not much else shines in this film. The directing bug definitely bit Wilder, and clearly sucked too much blood. As much as I love Wilder as an actor and writer, he falters in the director's chair.


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