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3/10
John Phillip Law IS a machine all right...love, I don't know
Kenneth Anderson3 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I remember when "The Love Machine" was first released to theaters. I was a mere 13 years old, too young to see the much-ballyhooed motion picture release, but not too old to take my Mom's paperback copy of the Jacqueline Susann novel to school and pore over the 'naughty bits' with my schoolmates.

Though I'm not sure what my problem was at such an early age, but I was very much into the book. I bought and wore an "ankh" ring just like on the paperback cover, and I remember the ads for the perfume, "Xanadu" that was cross-promoted and featured clumsily in the film. Despite such an interest I didn't actually see the film until several years later. I should have left things as they were.

"The Love Machine" is hands down the worst of the many bad films adapted from Susann's novels...which of course makes it the most fun to watch. Its faults are many: from its hopscotching script that jumps choppily from one incident to another with nary a connecting thread; its dated, horny (brass instruments, I mean) music score of ersatz Bacharach; the flat, first-take performances; the boring sexuality -I've never seen bathrobes featured so prominently in a movie before. It's like a fetish! Whenever sex, nudity or something sleazy is called for, out pops somebody in a blue robe! Very odd, that; and most certainly, the circus train of awful 70's fashions that are on endless display. Poor Dyan Cannon's performance (which is no great shakes anyway, but heads over the rest of the cast) is consistently undermined by the jaw-dropping get ups she's called upon to wear. However, the film's chief liability is the stoic, stone-like John Philip Law as (appropriately enough) Robin Stone, the object of every girl's (and one over–the-top flaming male photographer's) affection.

Law is just awful and performs as if he were pulled off the street, handed the pages of the script in hurry and told to give a cold reading on the spot. Just lifeless! Not only that, but he appears in desperate need of a blood transfusion or something. He looks wan and sickly throughout and is several pounds smaller than most of his female costars. Robin Stone should be a hunk, not a hankie.

For anyone finding the film hard going (it's rather slow by today's standards) I beg you to stick around for the climactic "fight scene." Here Ms. Cannon (balancing 23 pounds of teased hair) finally abandons her heretofore starchy acting style and lets loose with that infectiously raucous laugh of hers, setting in motion a truly memorable free for all that should have become a cinema clip highlight by now. Trying to rival "Valley of the Dolls"'s infamous wig-down-the-toilet scene, "The Love Machine" finally does something right.

Jacqueline Susann's unique brand of trash is sorely missed. Perhaps someone out there owns the rights to Rona Barrett's "The Lovomaniacs" and will revive the genre.
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3/10
"That Robin Stone...he's movin' on"
moonspinner553 April 2001
The network TV news business as a sleazy cesspool, with John Phillip Law as the titular news-anchor who sleeps his way to the top. Nice idea to have Dionne Warwicke do the song vocals for this movie-adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's bestseller (a la "Valley Of The Dolls")...though it's really too bad this sudser doesn't have Patty Duke's Neely O'Hara to spike the story. "The Love Machine" is unrelievedly dull. Even the final brawl (with an Academy Award as a fight prop!) can't save it. Dyan Cannon seems embalmed in her heavy pancake make-up and cumbersome fall (although her tiny, suntanned figure is a beauty to behold), Law is a handsome block of wood, while David Hemmings is embarrassing in gay-mode as a flamboyant photographer. And where is Robin Stone walking to at the end? Is he trekking out to the waterfront to pick up some sailors? After Cannon has deflated his masculinity, it would be a safe bet. In that case, "Love Machine--The Final Episode" might have been a more interesting flick. Certainly better than this yawn-inducing snooze-opera. *1/2 from ****
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3/10
Terrible but somewhat interesting
preppy-37 August 2004
Movie based on Jacqueline Susann's best-selling novel. It's about Robin Stone (John Phillip Law) a ruthless TV anchorman who claws his way to the top. It details his love life concentrating on Amanda (Jodi Wexler) and Judith (Dyan Cannon). It also shows his total inability to commit to anyone and instead sleeps with any woman he can get.

The novel is no work of art (it's not even good literature) but it's a quick, silly, trashy read. However, compared to this movie, it seems like a masterpiece of fiction! This is a textbook example of how NOT to do a movie adaptation. First they condense the novel terribly. In the book Stone's inability to commit is dealt with and it's revealed why. Here it's brought up...and ignored. Characters from the book are either totally left out or changed completely. One of them (Maggie) pops up for two pointless scenes and then disappears completely! Also there's a truly revolting scene in which a woman is brutally beaten. It's in the book--but there IS a reason totally left out of the movie. And the book dealt with three women--not two. Don't even get me started on the homophobia. The movie is almost worth sitting through for a no holds barred fight at the end between Law, Cannon and David Hemmings.

Adaptation aside the acting is pretty terrible. Law is just horrendous as Stone--VERY wooden and boring--you seriously wonder why all these women are after him. To be fair to Law another actor was cast but had a very bad accident before shooting began and Law stepped in at the last minute. Wexler is terrible as Amanda; Maureen Arthur is truly astoundingly bad as Ethel Evans; Shecky Greene is unbearable as Christie Lane. Only three performances stand out: David Hemmings (having a GREAT time) camps it up as a gay photographer; Cannon is actually very good and Robert Ryan is just great. Also Dionne Warwick sings the catchy opening song ("He's Moving On"). Also Jacqueline Susann has a cameo as a newscaster.

It IS bad but I watched the whole thing and it is (in a silly sort of way) a lot of fun. I'm giving it a 3.
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8/10
You got to be in the mood for this one
steven-8728 April 2009
Well, where to start? I stumbled across this one in 1993 and just hit "record" on the VCR out of habit, more than anything else. "Citizen Kane" it sure isn't...but if you've had a bad day and are in the mood for crashing out in front of something not too intellectually stimulating, then I tentatively suggest this might just be your "thing".

We have the lot here - great title track, more stereotypes than you could shake a stick at, unconscious comedy, the bitchiest fight scene of all time and more, more, more! David Hemmings plays the diametric opposite of his role in the 60s classic "Blow Up" - still a photographer, still hormonally stimulated but not "quite" the same.

John Philip Law is easy to slam as an actor who makes a log appear unwooden but that wouldn;t be fair seeing as how he had about 5 minutes notice before accepting the role.

Wexler as "Amanda"? Suffice to say it was her one and ONLY film role! The real star of this movie, though, is Ethel Evans who plays a, shall we say secretary (?), with the morals of an alley cat and an ambition to match. The way she manages to reconcile her present life with that of a future with her comedian husband-to-be is actually quite touching in an earthy, gritty, what-is-to-be-will-be way.

I actually love this movie when I'm in the mood for it.......and wouldn't touch it with the proverbial bargepole when I'm not.

Kudos to the cast for keeping a (relatively) straight face when filming.

A "classic" in the Edward D Wood school of cinematic endeavours!
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3/10
Bad film from a trashy novel
rosscinema19 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Jacqueline Susann wrote several novels all involving sex and melodrama and a few of them actually were made into films including this effort and they all have the distinction of being some of the worst films ever made. Story here is about Robin Stone (John Phillip Law) and his rise to the top of television by being ruthless and calculating to everyone around him. He's a playboy of the worst sort using and then throwing away every woman he beds including the wife of the IBC network president.

*****SPOILER ALERT***** Greg Austin (Robert Ryan) is in charge of the television network IBC and when his younger wife Judith takes one look at Robin she wastes no time getting into bed with him. Greg falls ill and has to take some time off and this is where Robin steps in and starts trying to run the network but during all this a model named Amanda (Jodi Wexler) who is in love with him kills herself. When Greg returns to his job he tries to get rid of Robin by using the morals clause in his contract when rumors start flying about his relationship with Jerry Nelson (David Hemmings) who's a gay fashion photographer.

This was directed by Jack Haley Jr. who went on to be a very successful producer in both television and movies but this was only his second film as a director and the material he was forced to deal with seems way over his head! The script comes from Susann's novel and that would probably be why this resembles a cross between "Alfie" and "The Valley of the Dolls" and I think the reason why her books never could translate well onto film is because the filmmakers made the terrible mistake of taking her stories seriously instead of tongue in cheek. With that, the laughs that come from this are unintentional especially during that totally ridiculous fight towards the end of the film which starts when Cannon refuses to give back the slave bracelet to the gay characters! Hemmings was a very good actor but his role here is completely over the top and it has him wearing one of the worst beards in history and using the term "chic" in every other sentence. Law was not the original choice for the lead but another actor that was cast had a serious accident and Law stepped in and delivers one of the more wooden performances this side of Miles O'Keeffe. The film's script suffers in two different areas in that it's both completely silly and horribly dull and it will test a viewers patience if they choose to watch this. One has to wonder what would be the outcome if a director decided to film one of Susann's novels and not take it seriously because the attempt here is ponderous and ridiculous.
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Slick and sleazy, but uneven and uneventful
Vince-55 May 2001
Though I've only seen it cut for television and therefore may not be able to judge fairly, The Love Machine is a pretty dull ride. The talented, attractive cast seems completely lost. Despite several steamy sex scenes, this suffers from the same problem as Valley of the Dolls--namely, diluting the subject matter of Jacqueline Susann's great novel. A lot of Jackie's most powerful material is either watered down or omitted completely, reducing the proceedings to shallow soap-opera level. The ending is entirely inconclusive. And, unlike Valley of the Dolls, there isn't even that much unintended humor to punch things up. Interestingly, the outrageously gay David Hemmings character is a combination of about three or four characters from the book!

Still, the production looks good, and Dionne Warwicke's renditions of "He's Moving On (Theme from The Love Machine)" and "Amanda's Theme" are beautiful. The rest of the soundtrack is good, too, if you enjoy psychedelic lounge music. I am the proud owner of the LP on Sceptor Records. Worth seeing for fans of Dyan Cannon, John Phillip Law, and moderately sensationalistic trash. It's a harmless diversion, but I still have to agree with Jackie Susann, who was very disappointed with the finished film. It really could've been great.
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4/10
At least one good performance
DepartmentStoreLover15 October 2003
Even though this film was nothing special as such, I am drawn to comment on at least one factor that ruled in its favour - that of the lead female performer in the film, Dyan Cannon. In spite of the film's ridiculous storyline and what she goes through here, hers was the best acting job in the film, making the unbelievable seem more plausible. Her raucous scene with the gay photographer David Hemmings has to be seen to be believed. Good work, Dyan.
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1/10
Woebegone
JasparLamarCrabb21 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A really bad movie even by bad movie standards. It almost transcends junk and become offensive by roping in really talented people like Robert Ryan, David Hemmings and Dyan Cannon. John Phillip Law, looking very uneasy, stars as a newscaster promoted to head of a TV network only to find himself in trouble with myriad women (ranging from a one-named model to his boss's swinging wife). Director Jack Haley Jr. skips character development in favor of a lousy song, played during the opening credits, informing us that Law's character is a self centered satyr. Based on the novel by Jacqueline Susann, it's difficult to believe that any of this was sourced from anything at all. Ryan looks craggy and beat, Hemmings is an embarrassment as a swishy photographer and Cannon, though top billed, is only in a few scenes. With Jackie Cooper, Alexandra Hay (as Tina St. Clair)and Sugar Ray Robinson(!). And WHY is Shecky Greene in here? He's wildly unfunny despite wearing outrageous leisure suits. The film has no ending; it just stops. Woebegone.
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Another Jacqueline Susann novel turned into a movie...
Blooeyz200118 April 2002
When they made this movie they tried to duplicate the success of "Valley of The Dolls" by including a fight scene, mod fashions, & a theme song sung by Dionne Warwick, but it flopped big time. Dyan Cannon is miscast as the bosses wife. Her character was supposed to be an "older woman". John Phillip Law is stiff & boring as the leading man. Jacqueline Susann (author of the book) wanted Charlton Heston, after she saw his backside in "Planet of The Apes", but he declined (good thing for him). Shecky Greene is very irritating as a fat, stand-up comic schlub. This is a watered-down version of the book, but not as entertaining as the movie version of "Valley of The Dolls". They just kept getting worse & worse, "Once Is Not Enough" (another Susann novel) was filmed after this & it's far less entertaining than "The Love Machine" (if you could imagine that).
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Am I missing something here?
gorgeousgreekbeauty24 September 2003
I just got this gem off of ebay and was quite disappointed .. for three factors ..

1. No nude John Phillip Law .. I've seen stills from the movie which detail his beautiful naked ass, in bed with two women, but these scenes are absent from the movie 2. The supposed "several steamy" sex scenes .. tame by today's standards, but again, I didn't see anything either than sheets moving around and some nipples .. where did they hide it all? This movie was marketed as being the steamiest movie since Midnight Cowboy and there are no naked people running around .. :-( .. is there another version to this movie that's maybe NC 17? Does Europe have the advantage of the better uncut version than we paranoid Puritan North Americans? WHERE IS THE NAKED JOHN PHILLIP LAW? .. like Danger Diabolik, people overestimate his nakedness in a movie .. he might have been jaybird, you don't get to see it .. :-( :-( :-( 3. Plot .. okay, stretching here .. but John's acting wasn't that bad .. given the script and his deplorably bad supporting cast .. he was cute all the way thru it .. better than his portrayal of a bird man in Barbarella .. just stand there and breathe John, you've just found your acting worth .. now show us that magnificent chest of yours .. hmm hmmm ..

Dyan Cannon can't act her way out of a brown paper bag .. worse .. !!!she looks like she's been dolled up on Halcion in every scene she's in .. the only character worth rooting for was the amazon whore who was slapped around by Law's character .. she seemed to have a lot of depth .. for her 2 minute scene .. I felt sorry for her ..

The scenery and set design was typically bad 70's porn movie castoffs ... and what's with the dinner suit that the network exec keeps wearing? Is he expecting it to get better than this? 'fraid not!

Shecky Green in ill fitting mismatched clothing made me sick to my stomach.. when he moved I thought the room was spinning ..

Overall, I'd give this movie /5 out of ten .. just cuz it was soooo bad, you just had to follow it to the miserable conclusion to see how it ends..

Thank god no director worth his spit would dredge up slop like this and try to find a modern audience for it ..
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5/10
Round Robin
sol20 June 2005
**SPOILERS** Unintentionally funny 1970's type "Adult Drama" that has funny man Shecky Green, Christie Lane, being so hilarious in a dramatic part where his serious acting comes across funnier then any comedy bit he ever did in Vegas or Atlantic City.

Local Six PM TV newscaster Robin Stone, John Philip Law, has caught the eye of not only CIB network boss Greg Austin ,Robert Ryan, but also his pretty and possessive young wife Judith, Dyan Cannon. Knocking the ladies that he encounters off their feet Robin is the kind of guy who works real fast then quickly checks out without leaving any rings.

Greg putting his newscast on prime time has Robin quickly rises to the top of the CIB network forcing out his former boss, and now partner, top network honcho Danton Miller, Jackie Cooper, and leaving him a man with a job but without any work. Consolidating his power Robin starts to have an affair with Greg's wife Judith that goes on until Greg ends up with a massive stroke, because of the stress of running CIB not the affair which he knew nothing about. With Judith now running CIB and at the same time shearing a bed with Robin as well he on top of the media and entertainment world as a TV personality. What Judith doesn't realize is that her lover now plans to take the CIB network over as president.

Robin would have gotten away with his actions that drove his first lover in the movie Amanda, Jodi Wexler,to down a bottle of sleeping pills and then never waking up again if Robin used his head instead of his emotions he could have avoided the terrible things that later happened to him in the second half of the movie. Like all the Robin Stone type he could never get enough, and never be satisfied, with what he already has and that turns out to be his downfall in the movie "The Love Machine". Breaking careers and hearts on his way to the top Robin starts to get too big for his own good. It's later that Robins boss, the now recovered Greg Austin, has a clause in his contract that can put the Robin Stone steamroller to an end: a morals clause.

Robin for the first time in the movie showed his human side when he got the news that Amanda killed herself on the TV news. Hurt and depressed he roams the streets of NYC at night trying to find himself and the humanity that he lost in his no holds bar climb to the top of the TV news and entertainment heap only to get himself involved with a hooker, Melonie Waller. After changing his mind about doing business with the hooker in her hotel room Robin is humiliated and insulted by her calling him a fa**ot. This sets Robin off to where he beats the living cr**p out of her leaving the hooker for dead as he took off in the dead of night.

Afraid of what this would do to his career, if it's found out by the police and the public, Robin runs to Jerry Nelson, David Hemmings, Amanda's make-up artist who discovered her and made Amanda a star. It's this new found friendship with Jerry that leads to Robin's demise at the end of the film with a battle royal between Jerry and Robin and Jerry's boyfriend Alfie, Clinton Gresn. The three all chase Judith all over and around an empty mansion, with Jerry getting his head cracked open, to retrieve a "Slave Bracelet" that Jerry made out to Robin but in the end gave to Alfie. It was Judith who accidentally found the bracelet thinking that both Jerry and Robin were male lovers.

It turned out that Robin's attempt to get help from Jerry, after the hooker incident, lead to him being suspected of having an affair with Jerry by an outraged Judith, who earlier caught Robin naked in a shower with two young women! Now Judith knows that the carousing and womanizing and, in her mind, bi-sexual Robin can't be trusted. Hurt and vindictive for him tow-timing her Judth wan't to destroy him and his career in show, or the TV news, business.

Funny in a sleazy sort of way the movie "The Love Machine" was released with a lot of fanfare and publicity back in 1971 but flopped in the box office because it wasn't all that effective in the sleaze department, that it was advertised to be. At the same time the movie was so riotous and funny without even trying that it was hyped up for the wrong reasons for getting the public interested in seeing it. It should have been advertised by it's makers as an adult comedy.
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This Love Machine is a little low on fuel.
Poseidon-326 August 2004
The second in Jacqueline Susann's triad of saucy, salacious, showbiz-based novels adapted into movies, this one will delight fans of tacky, trashy film, but may disappoint those who enjoyed the book. Law (in at the 11th hour for a severely injured Brian Kelly) plays an ambitious, sexually-manipulative TV news anchor who catches the eye of a network executive's wife. The wife (Cannon) encourages her husband (Ryan) to hire him on in a higher capacity and before long, he is running the network while the exec is recovering from a massive coronary! He dumps his model girlfriend (Wexler) and takes Cannon to bed. Though Law and Cannon share a couple of blissful unions, Law also canoodles with an endless parade of models, groupies, hookers and anything else in a skirt. It has something to do with an unexplored subplot (fleshed out in the book) of his fear of being alone at night. Apart from the sexual shenanigans (which are suggestive, but not really very explicit), the film also focuses on Law's battles at the network. He tangles with long-term VP Cooper, sets up schlocky comedian Greene with his own series and somehow manages to evade sleeping with office tramp Arthur. It all comes to a head when Ryan begins to recover and wants to take back his reign, but gets considerable resistance from Law. So Ryan considers a smear campaign involving a gay actor (Greyn) and a gay photographer (Hemmings) that Law has been associated with in the past, as friends. The film ends on an ambiguous (to say the least!) note as if the company ran out of film stock. Law is attractive, but uncharismatic and stiff. It's easy to see the physical attraction for him, but impossible to figure out the emotional one. Wexler is extremely weak in her role, though she has several eye-opening appearances in various "high-fashion" get-ups. Ryan adds a tinge of credibility to the film with his firm presence and Cooper is excellent as the threatened second banana. Cannon is severely miscast in her role, but overcomes it rather well. Her ample physical charms are often put to good use (though a few of her ensembles are downright monstrosities that either swallow her up or make her look exceedingly uncomfortable - Check out the green corseted number with the black turtleneck top!) Greene is appropriately low-brow as a sort of in-the-flesh Fred Flintstone who has no class and knows it. Arthur takes her sexpot secretary from "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and ratchets it up even further, sensually. Hemmings gets in a few catty licks tempered with some down-to-earth moments with a character that is almost completely stereotypical. For a film that was produced by Susann's own husband, the product certainly is a let-down from the book. It seems to remove nearly all of the juiciest aspects of the novel and has an overriding sterile quality (the one exception being a raucous, laughably-overwrought fight scene at the end.) The storyline has been hacked down, but it doesn't feel as if it was completely thought out. Attempts to tie in the "ankh" from the book go nowhere at all and when it's finished it all seems so pointless unless its existence as a snapshot of horrendously bad 70's fashion has historical value. That doesn't mean it isn't fun on a campy level, but it's nowhere near the deliriousness of "Valley of the Dolls".
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6/10
ghost in the machine
nomorefog27 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This has to be up there on my list of the best lousy films of all time. It's based on a Jacqueline Sussann novel, one of the greatest of all trashy writers (well, girls, at least we can write good trash). As I understand it these 'kinds of books' (as my mother used to call them) had a lot of hot and heavy goings-on between the covers which as a youngster I was never allowed to read, as my parents had higher hopes for me.

'The Love Machine' would like to think of itself as a scathing behind- the- scenes expose but it becomes obvious that if one harks back to the source material, Ms Sussann is no female Paddy Chayevsky and she did not write another 'Network'. The story itself is clunky and impossible to follow, but is something to do with the rise and fall of a talking head news anchor who is making a name for himself at a (fictional) New York television station. (Primarily by sleeping with a lot of women and what this has to do with the job description I will never know). The film is unintentionally hilarious with ludicrous acting and a script that any respectable writer would be ashamed to take credit for.

David Hemmings does an annoying turn as an obnoxious hanger-on who is so over-the-top gay that you wonder what the real gay people must have thought of him. Dyan Cannon is the wife of the stations' president and seems to sleep with almost every male member of the cast (which must mean that they aren't gay), and John Philip Law as the so-called 'love machine' of the title is about as sexy as a cigar store Indian. To put it mildly, he's stiff. The sets look as if they're about to fall over and every cast member with a speaking part is wondering why they let themselves be talked into being in the movie at all, presumably afraid that the sets are going to fall on top of them. The only thing of the remotest interest in this film is the title song, written by Bacharach and David and sung by Dionne Warwicke, but because the film was such a flop when it came out, the song was not on the tip of everyone's tongue and seems to have disappeared without trace. There is a wonderful cat fight at the end as poor Dyan wreaks vengeance on the men who have supposedly taken advantage of her but the audience correctly suspects, there would be little chance of her being taken advantage of by anyone in this movie, since most of the male characters seem to be so useless and just plain dumb.

This is a must see for fans of camp classics and bad movies in general, as well as members of the Dyan Cannon fan club (of which I am a founding member). And don't forget that song.
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7/10
Interesting exercise in style
manuel-pestalozzi25 April 2006
I have never read a Jacqueline Susann novel, but I have also seen Valley of the Dolls, based on another of her books. On both occasions I thought the movie is probably better than the book and will further improve with age (certainly contrary to the books). The reason being that a movie focuses more on a specific style in fashion, design and behavior patterns. And in this aspect The Love Machine offers quite a lot. The set design fits the story perfectly. And all the characters fit in, too. They're perfect in the way that they complete a well balanced general picture. They are superficial and do not develop, it is true, but in this movie I wouldn't want it any different.

David Hemmings reprises the role he played in Antonioni's Blow Up. And it's more than a rip-off. He's a fashion photographer, looks visibly aged and seems to start going slightly to seed. Robert Ryan reprises the role he played in Max Ophül's Caught, he is Smith Ohlrig all over again, greedy, bored and boring, uninspired and uninspiring. It's possible Ryan did not want to be in this picture and acted accordingly, on the other hand he might have thought a lot about his part and then given a carefully studied performance. Whatever happened, it fits the picture. Dyan Cannon is great (fantastic wardrobe!), she dominates every scene she's in and is involved in the two highlights of the movie: the burning of a luxurious bed and the knocking down of the Hemmings character with a Academy Award statuette.

The title, The Love Machine, is, of course, meant ironically. Robin Stone is a kind of a Barry Lyndon of the pop era (incidentally, the movie IS slightly kubrickysh). That he chooses a TV station to work his way up to the top seems to be a mere coincidence. He sees love (meaning sexual favors) merely as a means for personal advancement. There are rather scary hints of a troubled sexuality which are not explored in the movie. Homosexuality is treated very casually, probably not the standard for mayor movies of the period. The open cynicism of the TV executives need not fear comparison with other good movies about the subject like A Face in the Crowd or Network or Truman Show. They are producing crap, they agree among themselves it's crap and they know they will make a lot of dough with it.

I did not regret spending the odd 108 minutes with this movie and would not be surprised if it picked up a cult following, provided it's given the chance (meaning a DVD release).
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7/10
Better than most people say!
JohnHowardReid5 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Just about everyone hates this movie, but on its own exploitative level, I would describe it as an entertaining example of Hollywood film-making, It's very glossily photographed and put together with some very attractive players, dressed in stunning Moss Mabry costumes. Indeed, Charles Lang's color photography could be described as a major asset, as are Lyle Wheeler's sets. Director Jack Haley, Jr., has worked in television, so he knows his background at first hand, and has handled this assignment with a fair amount of style and flair. The dialogue is often smart and punchy and in many cases the pointed remarks made against TV and its lack of both talent and class, are just too true. And I even like the under-the-title tune, "He's Moving On", with its ironical lyrics so persuasively sung by Dionne Warwick. Screenwriter Samuel Taylor has researched the script's background well. Not only has he penned some telling dialogue but he has provided some glorious opportunities for the talents of such players as Robert Ryan and Jackie Cooper. Indeed the whole cast could be described as particularly well-chosen. True, John Phillip Law may be a bit shallow, but so is the character, and Law certainly looks the part. On the other hand, David Hemmings tends to overdo the mincing affectations, and in some shots his false beard is very obvious. I'll also admit that Samuel Taylor has attempted to cram too many melodramatic and sensational incidents into the film, but no-one can complain that the plot moves too slowly or has too few interesting "characters". I love a good exposé . Of course, it could be argued that the movie is pandering to exactly the same salacious and sensation-hungry audiences as TV!
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Compelling pre-cursor to Network.
Psalm 528 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Why is there so much angst among the IMDb reviewers who hate this film? It isn't a masterpiece, but having viewed it twice it does come across as compelling drama set in the world of network TV. Robin Stone is the epitome of every Dan Rather, Phillip Stone, and Brian What's-his-name on NBC. A mannequin of a man incapable of love who succeeds professionally, but fails miserably in his personal life. I worked for eight (8) years in network news and Robin Stone's DO EXIST!

The supporting cast works for me from Cannon (who can be annoying, but isn't in this film) to Greene (who plays pathos just right) to Wexler (who scores as the young model in love w/ the image of Prince Charming and can't reconcile that image w/ the true ugliness inside). Also of note is the ending which some IMDb reviewers claim is a cop-out. It's not! Listen to the song "He's Moving On" for clues as to the arc the Robin Stone character travels that brings him to finally face his issues. He realizes the answers don't lay w/ the life he's lived and the symbolic walk away from those he's associated himself with, at the end is perfect.
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