The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.
Brian G. Hutton
Awaiting at London Airport for a flight to New York, Frances Andros, seen off by her tycoon husband, Paul Andros, plans to leave her spouse for the arms of an aging international playboy, Marc Champselle. Les Mangrum, a self-made Australian businessman traveling with his loyal secretary, Miss Mead, must be in New York the following day to arrange the loan that will help him repel a hostile takeover of his tractor company. Max Buba, a film mogul traveling with starlet Gloria Gritti, must get out of England immediately or face ruinous British income tax. The Duchess of Brighton has taken a job as a hostess at an American holiday resort, thinking she will be able to keep her family estate on her new income. Fog descends and blurs the future for them all, forced now to wait in the airport hotel for morning and fair weather.Written by
Peter Medak worked as an assistant and one day noticed that Richard Burton was talking to two of the most important characters in the London underworld, Ronald Kray and Reg Kray. Burton had a few scuffles with the press and was looking for advice on security. Almost 30 years later, Medak would direct The Krays (1990). See more »
The Duchess of Brighton tells the night porter at the hotel that it was said Shakespeare stayed at her house. Later when she is speaking with the film people about letting them use her house as a movie location, she says it wasn't built until Queen Victoria. See more »
The beautiful people, the jet set, or let's just call them by their names - Liz and Dick. They are the cornerstone of this luscious, glamorous cream puff about the elite stranded at an airport. There's Liz, the unhappy wife of the filthy rich Burton, getting ready to run away with playboy Louis Jourdan; Margaret Rutherford, on her way to work in Florida so she can keep her estate afloat; Orson Welles as a filmmaker, who has to leave London by midnight or be stuck with $1 million in taxes; Elsa Martinelli as his bratty star; Rod Taylor as man about to lose his business; Maggie Smith as his secretary suffering from unrequited love for her boss.
It doesn't get much better than this in terms of star power. Taylor is gorgeous with a wardrobe to match, Rutherford delightful, and Burton, Jourdan, and Rod Taylor all at their handsome bests. Maggie Smith gives a lovely, very touching performance, adding reality to this superficial story.
This is a marvelously entertaining film, done back in the days when a film budget went for a star cast and wardrobe and not special effects. The original star with Burton was to be Sophia Loren, but Taylor piped up and said she'd do it. It was made rather quickly to beat "Cleopatra" to the box office and cash in on Burton and Taylor's hot love affair.
Terrence Rattigan based his story on a true account of Vivien Leigh running away with Peter Finch and Olivier managing to stop them because their flight was delayed.
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