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Jessie Royce Landis
This is a kind of film not made any more. It is a quiet comedy with intelligent, literate, articulate, unhappy adult humans attempting to work through their problems. Though the framework is farce, the lighting here is dark, the pace relaxed. If you have no patience for this approach don't waste your time.
But if you are tired of strident, moronic comedies about slobs or adolescents or balky zippers, this is a great opportunity to see a bunch of fine acting pro's at the top of their game. David Niven surprises with his precise physical comedy, Ginger Rogers and Dan Dailey are more thoughtful than usual, and Tony Randall thins out his baritone to be even more nerdy and creepy than usual.
There are also some sly jokes in the music track, with quotes from "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" and Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" underlining some of the more absurd dramatic situations. Ocean liner buffs will also cherish the final reel shot on the French Line's Liberte.
Our attitudes have changed since the 1950's about psychiatry, alcohol and stalking ex-lovers. Fine, consider the social archeology as a bonus, and learn how we've changed and how we haven't. It shouldn't stop you from smiling, or even laughing.
Highly recommended for those who don't confuse adrenalin with humor.
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