During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Dino, the charming and lecherous Las Vegas singer, stops for gas on his way to Hollywood in Climax, Nevada. The oily gas station attendant is Barney Millsap, a would-be lyricist who writes pop songs with Orville Spooner, the local piano teacher. By disabling Dino's car, Barney contrives a scheme to have Dino sing one of their songs on an upcoming TV special. To entertain Dino, Barney contacts the village tart, Polly, employing her to pretend to be Orville's wife, Zelda, for a night. She doesn't like Dino, but does love being Orville's surrogate wife. Dino goes to a bar, where he meets the real Zelda, and they spend the night together while Polly spends it with Orville.Written by
This film was extremely controversial in its day and was generally attacked for bad taste. It was condemned as an immoral film by the Legion of Decency and was even savagely criticized by Billy Wilder's old friend Barbara Stanwyck (who hadn't seen it). It was also a box-office flop. Years later, Wilder laconically referred to it as "the start of my downfall". See more »
After Orville's wife digs under his sweatshirt for a pen while Johnny is playing the piano, the sound of the piano distorts as if the sound tape slowed down for a second. See more »
...Bobby Darin or Elvis.
I suppose you have never heard of the Beatles either.
Oh sure. And I can sing better than all three of them.
There are four of them!
Oh, haven't you heard? One of them got his hair caught in his guitar and was electrocuted.
You can make jokes about them but they're young and they're popular, while you...
What about me?
Let's face it, you are over the hill.
Sure you do know how to hurt a fellow.
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The American version is 2 minutes longer than the European version, Dean Martin complains of a back injury, Zelda massages it, he falls asleep. In the European version, Zelda and Dean are kissing and it is more likely they will make love. The next scene is the same in both versions with Zelda waking up naked and Dean has left the trailer. See more »
When writer-director Billy Wilder made `Kiss Me, Stupid' in 1964, he was riding high: His comedy-drama `The Apartment' had won the Oscar as best picture in 1960 and Wilder's `Irma La Douce,' released in 1963, had been a smash. `Stupid,' however, would not receive critical raves or a warm reception at the box office. Instead it would be condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, banned in several cities and dropped by its original distributor United Artists, which gave `Stupid' a limited and unsuccessful release through its art-film branch Lopert Films. Seen today, it's laughable to think that this innuendo-laden but mostly innocuous comedy created such a furor. Admittedly, Wilder pushed the boundaries of good taste with some of the dialogue and imagery. Even so the movie is far more nutty than smutty. Set in the Nevada hamlet of Climax, `Stupid' tells the story of church organist and piano teacher Orville J. Spooner (Ray Walston), who is insanely overprotective of his adoring and adorable wife Zelda (Felicia Farr, who was married to Jack Lemmon offscreen). Orville and buddy Barney (Cliff Osmond) write songs in their spare time one is called `I'm Taking Mom to the Junior Prom Cuz She's a Better Twister Than My Sister,' and another begins, `I'm a poached egg without a piece of toast/Yorkshire Pudding without a beef to roast' and they're excited when singing sensation Dino (Dean Martin as the same kind of leering lush he usually played in his nightclub act and on TV) is stranded in town. Orville thinks he can sell some material to Dino, but the aspiring tunesmith is alarmed by Dino's reputation as a great seducer and fears Zelda, a Dino fan, will end up in the star's clutches. So Orville hires Polly (Kim Novak), a trampy type with teased platinum hair who works at the local dive known as The Belly Button, to pretend to be his wife while he entertains Dino for an evening. Thanks to a series of surprises, it becomes a night to remember for all concerned, including Zelda, who wasn't even supposed to be a part of it in the first place. As the somewhat similar `Indecent Proposal' would do almost 30 years later, `Stupid' ultimately states that the best way to test a relationship is to walk away from it for a while and see what happens. What separates `Stupid' from so many of the so-called `sex comedies' of the period is its combination of cynicism and directness. Beneath the teasing and the titillation there are some genuinely provocative themes about human nature and the sacrifices we're willing to make to catch a break. Although the movie has what might be termed a happy ending, it's a conclusion with more than a few dark clouds hanging over it. Wilder and Diamond must have somehow known that the second half of the 1960s would be fraught with social changes and the re-evaluation of old standards. What looked like trash in 1964 seems pretty prescient when screened today.
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