5.8/10
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26 user 10 critic

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
...
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:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carol Kane was made up to resemble silent film star Zasu Pitts. Kane also appeared in another movie about the silent era released in the same 1977 year. That movie was Ken Russell's Valentino (1977). Both films featured Rudolph Valentino in their stories. 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, I'm frightened.
Rudy Valentine: You're the one who said you wanted me to try out for this contest!
Annie Hickman: Well, I do. I do. I just don't want you to get your heart set on winning.
Rudy Valentine: Do you think I wanna come in 13th?
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

Featured in My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988) 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

 
Beautiful Love Story, Gene Wilder Stylized Perfection
5 March 2006 | by (.: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.) – See all my reviews

This production was built around the search for the next Rudolph Valentino. While this work has become dated, it was filmed as a pseudo-retrospective at the time, so it was already "dated" the day it was filmed.

This is a total Gene Wilder vehicle. He wrote the screenplay, directed the movie, and was the movie's sole credited producer. He is also THE star of the movie. He does share the limelight with Carol Kane (a pure delight, as usual), but this was one of Wilder's brightest moments. By this time, the world realized they had a comedic genius on their hands and after this work Wilder pretty much had the Midas Touch for a while.

Kane plays Annie Hickman, the world's greatest Valentino fan. Wilder portrays a Milwaukean baker who is at the end of his rope. His idiosyncrasies are so severe, he finds it impossible to maintain employment. Upon learning of a contest held by Rainbow Studios (NOT the #1 studio) to find the next Rudolph Valentino, Rudy Hickman just "knows" this is his ticket to a better life. His wife leaves him to go find Mr. Valentino. But once Hickman is in the middle of it all, he realizes his wife is what is most important to him and he sets the works in motion to woo her away from Rudolph Valentino. The formula makes for some of the best heart-warming entertainment that's hit the big screen. It's endearing and funny in its bittersweet malaise.

It also goes a long way towards showing what CAN be done with no effects and no locations beyond the Studio Backlot and a few, cheap but decent sets.

While it is frayed about the edges, this classic favorite is one ripe for a DVD restoration...perhaps even a 2-disk director's cut for those of us fans who have BEEN fans since the beginning.

It rates an 8.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.


8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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