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Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 22 December 1964 (USA)
Jealous piano teacher Orville Spooner sends his beautiful wife, Zelda, away for the night while he tries to sell a song to famous nightclub singer Dino, who is stranded in town.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Billy Wilder (screenplay), I.A.L. Diamond (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Martin ... Dino
Kim Novak ... Polly the Pistol
Ray Walston ... Orville
Felicia Farr ... Zelda
Cliff Osmond ... Barney
Barbara Pepper ... Big Bertha
Skip Ward ... Milkman (as James Ward)
Doro Merande ... Mrs. Pettibone
Bobo Lewis Bobo Lewis ... Waitress
Tom Nolan ... Johnnie Mulligan (as Tommy Nolan)
Alice Pearce ... Mrs. Mulligan
John Fiedler ... Rev. Carruthers
Arlen Stuart Arlen Stuart ... Rosalie Schultz
Howard McNear ... Mr. Pettibone
Cliff Norton ... Mack Gray
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There Was This Girl in Climax, Nevada See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Felicia Farr, who plays the part of Zelda, was married to Jack Lemmon, who starred in many of director Billy Wilder's films. See more »

Goofs

When the Shell attendant checks Dino's oil, he unscrews the fuel line by hand. He would have needed a wrench. See more »

Quotes

Orville J. Spooner: If it weren't for Venetian blinds, it'd be curtains for us...
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Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Spin City: Kiss Me, Stupid (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

All the Livelong Day (and the Long, Long Night)
(uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Ian Freebairn-Smith
(P) 1964
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User Reviews

 
The souring of the American Dream
18 July 2005 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

This is a low and deeply cynical comedy even by Billy Wilder's standards. It's about the American Dream and says a man would sell his wife to achieve it. Ray Walston, (brilliantly cast; nobody played sharper or more venal in comedy than he did - remember, he once even played the devil?), is the small-town songwriter who tries to sell some of his songs to a visiting superstar called Dino, (Dean Martin, parodying himself as a womanizing, hard-drinking piece of scum). The way he does it is to pass his wife off as a piece of bait for Martin to sleep with and hopefully take his songs. But being the all-American hypocrite that he is, he can't bring himself to use his real wife so he packs her off to a motel and hires the local floozie Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak) to take her place.

The film is very funny in the way it undermines our conventional sense of morality. It's like a French Farce full of dirty American gags and in some ways is one of Wilder's best (though under-valued) films. The only 'nice' character in the whole picture is Polly and Novak brings to the part the same kind of touching naiveté we associate with Monroe. (It's a very Monroe-like performance). And this is probably the best acting Novak has done outside of "Vertigo" and possibly "Picnic"; (her Polly is like an older, more sullied version of the character she played in "Picnic"). A lot of Americans found this film deeply offensive, (it was a bigger success in Europe), and it was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kiss Me, Stupid See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,869
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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