7.4/10
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60 user 51 critic

A New Leaf (1971)

Henry Graham lives the life of a playboy. When his lawyer tells him one day that his lifestyle has consumed all his funds, he needs an idea to avoid climbing down the social ladder. So he intends to marry a rich woman and - murder her.

Director:

Elaine May

Writers:

Elaine May, Jack Ritchie (story "The Green Heart")
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Walter Matthau ... Henry Graham
Elaine May ... Henrietta Lowell
Jack Weston ... Andy McPherson
George Rose George Rose ... Harold
James Coco ... Uncle Harry
Doris Roberts ... Mrs. Traggert
Renée Taylor ... Sharon Hart
William Redfield ... Beckett
Graham Jarvis ... Bo
Jess Osuna Jess Osuna ... Frank
David Doyle ... Mel
Fred Stewart ... Mr. von Rensaeller
Mark Gordon Mark Gordon ... John
Rose Arrick Rose Arrick ... Gloria Cunliffe
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Storyline

Henry Graham is a man with a problem: he has run through his entire inheritance, and is completely unequipped to provide for himself. His childhood guardian, Uncle Harry (a deliciously mean-spirited James Coco), refuses to give him a dime, and Henry, completely unwilling to exercise the only solution he sees--suicide-- devises a plan with the help of his imaginative butler: he can make money the old-fashioned way--he can marry it. With a temporary loan from Uncle Harry to tide him over, Henry has six weeks to find a bride, marry her, and repay the money, or else he must forfeit all his property to his uncle. With only days remaining, Henry meets clumsy, painfully shy heiress Henrietta Lowell (played by director Elaine May). She's the answer to his prayers--if only Henry can overcome the obstacles placed in his path by Uncle Harry, Henrietta's lawyer, and Henry's own reluctance to wed. Written by Drew from Baltimore

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Romeo and Juliet, Bob and Bing, Ulysses and Grant, George and Martha, Martha and John, Bob and Carol, Ted and Alice, Bob and Alice, Ted and Carol, Bob and Ted, Carol and Alice, Pat and Dick, Julie and David, Byron and His Sister, Bill and Coo, Liz and Eddie, Liz and Mike, Liz and Dick, Dick and Sybil, Eddie and Debbie, Muck and Meyer, Hollywood and Vine, Anthony and Cleopatra, and now Henry & Henrietta... the love couple of the seventies... and the laugh riot of the year. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1971 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Bogata, wolna, samotna See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Mandel composed an original score but most of it was rejected. A few of his cues remain on the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

Harold: How many men these days require the services of a gentleman's gentleman? How many men have your devotion to form, sir? You have managed, in your own lifetime Mr. Graham, to keep alive traditions that were dead before you were born.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Columbo: Étude in Black (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

New Coronation March
(uncredited)
Music by Johnny Mandel
[Played on violin at wedding ceremony]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A buried treasure
18 February 2005 | by WhythorneSee all my reviews

Every now and then you stumble across a film that has been forgotten, or just ignored, and for the life of you, you can't figure out why. "A New Leaf" is such a film. Seeing this wonderful comedy for the first time was the movie-watching equivalent of discovering buried treasure.

One of the marks of an excellent comedy is one that you can watch a number of times and still laugh involuntarily even though you know what is coming. The performances of Matthau and May, as well as the supporting cast are that priceless.

So many funny and memorable scenes, but a couple of my favorites are: the meeting between Henry Graham (Matthau) and his accountant Beckett (Redfield) as Beckett tries to contain his frustration and explain to Matthau that his money is gone ("perfect"); and the scene where Graham crawls to his rich uncle (James Coco) to ask to borrow money while the uncle is favoring an electric pepper mill during his lavish meal (the expressions on Matthau's face are exquisite).

A delightful, black romantic comedy that somehow manages to be very light, and as a bonus even subtly tosses out some profound truths.


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