22 user 16 critic

The Honey Pot (1967)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 21 May 1967 (USA)
In Venice, a millionaire hires an actor to help him prank three greedy ex-girlfriends into thinking he's dying and leaving his fortune to one of them.


Frederick Knott (play), Thomas Sterling (novel) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... Cecil Fox
Susan Hayward ... Mrs. Sheridan
Cliff Robertson ... William McFly
Capucine ... Princess Dominique
Edie Adams ... Merle McGill
Maggie Smith ... Sarah Watkins
Adolfo Celi ... Inspector Rizzi
Herschel Bernardi ... Oscar Ludwig (scenes deleted)
Massimo Serato ... The Pretender (scenes deleted)
Hugh Manning Hugh Manning ... Volpone
David Dodimead David Dodimead ... Mosca
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Antonio Corevi Antonio Corevi ... Tailor (scenes deleted)
Cy Grant Cy Grant ... Revenue Agent (scenes deleted)
Frank Latimore ... Revenue Agent (scenes deleted)
Carlos Alberto Valles Carlos Alberto Valles ... Assistant Tailor (scenes deleted)


Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," twentieth century millionaire Cecil Fox (Sir Rex Harrison) devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. Although the women are wealthy in their own right, all have good reason to covet his fortune. To assist him in his scheme, Fox hires William McFly (Cliff Robertson), a gigolo and sometime actor, to act as his secretary/servant. Fox is soon visited at his "deathbed" by the three former mistresses: Merle McGill (Edie Adams), a fading Hollywood sex symbol; Princess Dominique (Capucine), who once took a cruise on Fox's yacht; and Mrs. Lone Star Crockett Sheridan (Susan Hayward), a Texas hypochondriac who travels with an enigmatic nurse/companion (Dame Maggie Smith). As Fox and McFly act out the charade, things take an unexpected turn from comical farce to full-blown murder mystery. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You are cordially invited to enjoy a perfectly elegant case of murder!


Comedy | Crime | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Sir Rex Harrison took dancing lessons for this movie. However, the more strenuous moves were performed by a double. See more »


Merle McGill: Silly boy! I wouldn't look twice at Hitler.
See more »


Referenced in All About Mankiewicz (1983) See more »

User Reviews

A Sly Fox
15 June 2016 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Loosely based on "Volpone," a play by Ben Johnson, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's literate, yet complex film, "The Honey Pot," is an often overlooked gem from the 1960's. Ensconced in his lavish Venetian palazzo, Cecil Fox devises an elaborately staged game to play on three of his former paramours. Hiring a handsome stage manager named McFly, he writes a letter to each woman telling her that he is on his death bed and she could be heiress to his estate. Needless to say, each arrives in Venice with an expensive gift and a desire to rekindle the fire with Fox. Each woman brings a time piece, and the theme of passing time is woven throughout the film.

The film was the second successful collaboration between Mankiewicz and Rex Harrison, the first producing Harrison's Oscar-nominated performance in "Cleopatra." Harrison is a sly delight as Fox, a devious, manipulative schemer, whose dreams of being a dancer send him flitting flamboyantly around his bed chamber; in keeping with the film's theme, he even cavorts to "The Dance of the Hours." Cliff Robertson is McFly, a man with a checkered past, who stages the deception with ambiguous motives of his own. The three objects of Fox's deceit are played by Susan Hayward, Capucine, and Edie Adams. Hayward's Mrs. Lone Star Crockett Sheridan is the most colorful, and her tough-talking Texan character is missed when she is off-screen. Capucine's Princess Dominque is properly cool and regal, and Adams's Merle McGill is crass and common. In a role that resembles her work in "The V.I.P's," Maggie Smith is the under-estimated brains among the group; as Sarah Watkins, nurse-companion to Mrs. Sheridan, Smith is described by Fox as "the bouncy one," and she is indeed.

"The Honey Pot" may be too slow and wordy for those nursed on Marvel Comics super heroes, but patient viewers have much to relish. Mankiewicz won Oscars for his biting screenplays for "All About Eve" and "A Letter to Three Wives," and also won nominations for writing "Skippy," "No Way Out," and "The Barefoot Contessa." His sharp and witty dialog is deliciously delivered by Harrison and Hayward in particular, who have the best lines; however, the entire cast, which includes four Oscar winners, does well, and each has his or her moments. Gianni Di Venanzo's well rendered cinematography of Venice and of the rich interiors of Fox's palace is colorful, and John Addison's score enhances the proceedings. Boasting excellent technical credits, a sterling cast, and a script and direction by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, "The Honey Pot" offers solid entertainment for discerning viewers and a few twists and surprises to keep everyone attentive until the end.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



USA | Italy



Release Date:

21 May 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joseph L. Mankiewicz' The Honey Pot See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed