To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.
Jane Osgood runs a lobster business, which supports her two young children. Railroad staff inattention ruins her shipment, so with her lawyer George, Jane sues Harry Foster Malone, director of the line and the "meanest man in the world".
In post-WW2 France, U.S. Army hospital private Hogan and Captain Lock try to outwit one another on issues such as wooing pretty nurses, accounting for missing medical supplies, organizing unauthorized dances and influencing their C.O.
When William Gridley arrives from the US in London, he rents part of Carly Hardwicke's house from her and promptly begins to fall in love. Gridley doesn't know that many people think she killed her husband but his boss, on the American embassy staff, knows and doesn't take this "lapse of judgment" lightly. Since Carly is also American, Gridley saves his job by introducing her to his boss, who is promptly smitten and promises to help her. So when a Scotland Yard detective arrives, wanting to get to the truth one way or another, they say they'll help him. And then the comedic complications really begin.Written by
When Jake Lemmon's character runs up the stairs to confront Kim Novak's character after the trial (at app. 1 hr. 20 min), he brushes his left hand across the square column on the landing and the obviously wet stain or paint smears. See more »
A Foggy Day (in London Town)
Music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin
instrumental theme of the score Jack Lemmon half sings/half intones a line from that song : "And suddenly I saw you there..." and then hums the melody. See more »
Jack Lemmon, rising young man in the United States State Department hasn't a clue when he rents a room from Kim Novak who turns out to be a fellow American in London. He also doesn't know she's The Notorious Landlady whose husband has gone missing and Scotland Yard thinks she did him in.
Americans in the diplomatic corps are supposed to be scandal free, even more so back in 1962 so poor Lemmon doesn't know what he's walked into. But his supervisor Fred Astaire does and he wants him to leave. But Lionel Jeffries of Scotland Yard thinks he'd make one great unofficial undercover man. So in the spirit of the alliance that defeated Hitler, Astaire agrees.
Later on after a hilarious barbecue scene nearly burns Novak's place down and gets the State Department unwanted publicity, Astaire wants to transfer Lemmon to Tierra Del Fuego, but Novak actually comes up and charms him into letting him stay. So much so that Astaire now wants to play Sherlock Holmes and solve the case himself or at least be Watson to Lemmon's Holmes.
Jack and Kim make a lovely couple in danger, 25 years earlier I could have seen Cary Grant and Carole Lombard in their parts. But when you set out to make a stylish comedy, casting Fred Astaire is always a stroke of genius. Director Richard Quine even had the good sense to acquire Astaire's classic, A Foggy Day from the defunct RKO studio where he introduced it in Damsel In Distress to use as background music. It's used to great affect on one of those foggy London nights where both of them are trailing Novak.
In the last half hour their sleuthing pays off and a rather intricate mystery is solved. Lionel Jeffries makes a dogged and determined Inspector Lestrade like Scotland Yard man, who if truth be told is one of the sleazier members of that organization ever portrayed on screen.
The joint creative hands who wrote The Notorious Landlady were Blake Edwards and Larry Gelbart. Can't do better than that for style and wit.
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