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
A full seven years before the Ross Hunter flying extravaganza thriller from Arthur Hailey's novel, THE VIPS is the flip side of that same idea...marooned guest list with varying agendas inside an Airport in crisis instead of on a plane in crisis. No doubt propelled by the CLEOPATRA scandal of the day as well, THE VIPS allowed the Dolce Vita of the Jet Set to be examined in star-studded detail along with its own guest list of a wacky old lady and 'ordinary folk' rubbing fur coated shoulders. Others can tell you the cast and their interaction on other comments but let me refer your attention to the hilarious and Oscar awarded performance by Margaret Rutherford who by her own admission as a pill popping granny was already flying high whilst still inside the snowbound terminal. Ms Rutherford was also well rewarded with the Miss Marple series at British MGM in the next few years, no doubt made with income from this film. Perhaps Arthur Hailey saw THE VIPS and wrote AIRPORT subsequently as if they all flew into a storm instead. A popular story device of the time is the multi character comedy drama with a central place/car woman such as: THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE and a year later with WHAT A WAY TO GO. Immensely popular in its day and with the usual impeccable MGM production values THE VIPS is worth collecting on DVD and showing to new century 20 somethings as a glamorous 60s lifestyle epic.
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