British college professor seeks peace in a California beach house but has nothing but trouble from an uninvited female 'juvenile delinquent', a neighbor with a mischievous dog, and a bevy of... Read allBritish college professor seeks peace in a California beach house but has nothing but trouble from an uninvited female 'juvenile delinquent', a neighbor with a mischievous dog, and a bevy of amorous American woman.British college professor seeks peace in a California beach house but has nothing but trouble from an uninvited female 'juvenile delinquent', a neighbor with a mischievous dog, and a bevy of amorous American woman.
This nice little film came out in 1962, but failed to do for Terry-Thomas what LOLITA or DR. STRANGELOVE or THE PINK PANTHER did for his fellow comic actor Peter Sellers: turn him into a super star. It really could not do so, for Sellers genius was to transform himself into dozens of different personalities, whereas Terry-Thomas usually played a bounder who got into comic difficulties because of his plotting, or character flaws, or circumstances he could not control. But in BACHELOR FLAT he was playing a decent sort, who finds himself (without intending it) to be attractive to females because of his pleasant English manners and erudition.
Terry - Thomas is Professor Bruce Patterson, a paleontologist who is teaching in Southern California. He doesn't plan to, but his crisp, clipped English manner has won many fans among the ladies in the university and in the neighborhood that he is residing in. He lives near his girlfriend Helen Bushmill (Celeste Holm), who is headed for Europe for a couple of weeks. Patterson, left on his own devices, soon finds that he is the center of a great deal unwanted attention from the ladies. One of them seems to be a young girl named Libby Smith (Tuesday Weld) who actually turns out to be Helen's daughter. He is assisted in trying to solve his problems with Weld and the others by his room-mate Mike Pulaski (Richard Beymer). Pulaski is soon attracted to Smith.
In the background, midst all the problems with the ladies, is Patterson's career goal. He has located a large dinosaur bone, and wants to return to the foreign country where he found it to do more digging for the rest of the fossil. This requires financing, and has brought up the attention of Dr. Dylan Bowman (Howard McNear), who is a "friendly" rival in the paleontology field.
Bowman starts sniffing about to find out what Patterson's discovery is (the latter has not shown the bone to anyone). But when the bone is accidentally buried, Patterson is seen by Bowman digging in the beaches near the bungalow he lives in, and retrieving the bone. As a result, of course, Bowman starts thinking the potential site for the dig is in the California beach that Patterson resides near.
As career and girls collide, and as Bushmill returns early, things get out of hand for our doctor. Among other things Bushmill thinks Patterson has become a ladies man. Patterson finds that his quiet lifestyle has been invaded by the ladies (they put a hole accidentally into his favorite derby hat, in one memorable slow burn). He asks Pulaski what to do to win back Bushmill, and in the process of being told what is expected from him as a male, he gets drunk - and proceeds to let his libido take over memorably.
The comedy was actually quite sweet, as Terry-Thomas played an average man in over his head. The rest of the cast ably supported him, especially McNear as his sneaky, spying rival - who got the last laugh in the film. It may not have been in the same class as DR. STRANGELOVE, but it was a good showcase for it's star. He didn't always have to play comic cads and bounders.
- Aug 5, 2006