7.0/10
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Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 22 December 1964 (Italy)
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 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 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:

Dino...he came to dinner...Polly the Pistol - she stayed for breakfast...Beethoven - he cooked up the whole mess... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1964 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Bésame, tonto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,869
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On hearing of Peter Sellers' heart attack, Billy Wilder is reputed to have said, "Heart attack? You need a heart to have a heart attack!". 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

Dino: [responding to an offer to buy the rights for a song] I need another Italian song like a giraffe needs a strep throat.
See more »

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

References The Public Enemy (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Sophia
(uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Ian Freebairn-Smith with Sam
See more »

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User Reviews

What was all the fuss about!
30 November 2004 | by jandesimpsonSee all my reviews

Billy Wilder could well have entitled his best known comedy "Nobody's Perfect" after its unforgettable last line. Instead he saved this ploy for a a later work that I admire almost as much, "Kiss Me, Stupid". Two things have always puzzled me about this film, one, that a work so innocently harmless unleashed such a furore of moral indignation on its first appearance and two, that it has never become one of the most revered of the Wilder canon. Comedies that retain a freshness long after one knows all the jokes are rare, but, for me, "Kiss Me, Stupid" is one of the chosen few. Like all the best comedies it builds on a situation that gets more and more out of hand. A pair of frustratedly unrecognised songwriters, a small town piano teacher (Ray Walston) and his garage mechanic friend (Cliff Osmond) sense a golden opportunity to become known when a famous pop-singer and stand up comic (Dean Martin) needs to stop off in their town for petrol. It's really a single gag film dealing with the pair's machinations to prevent the singer from continuing his journey before they have played him their songs. Their scheming includes getting the piano teacher's wife out of the way and hiring a substitute in the form of a sexy floozy (Kim Novak) who is one of the attractions of the town's recently opened nightclub. To say more would be to spoil the fun. Suffice to say that all the main protagonists are perfectly cast. It has often been remarked that Ray Walston is no match for Peter Sellers who was originally due to play the role. I cannot but disagree fearing that Sellers might have invested the jealousy obsessed piano teacher with that element of caricature that the role does not quite need. All it requires are a few quirky props such as the Beethoven tee-shirt and the buttermilk deposited in the piano and the rather less than over the top quality of Walston's performance is able to convey the humour and fun of the situation without smothering them . There is one superbly funny cameo by Doro Merande (the waitress in "The Seven Year Itch")as his tetchy mother-in-law. Add to this some stalwart work by the great production designer, Alexander Trauner in recreating the atmosphere of small town Nevada and a sparklingly inventive score by Andre Previn and the result is an extremely enjoyable piece of movie escapism.


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