5.9/10
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The World's Greatest Lover (1977)

A neurotic baker travels to Hollywood to attend a talent search for an actor to rival the great Valentino. Although not an actor, through blind luck he succeeds, to a certain degree.

Director:

Gene Wilder

Writer:

Gene Wilder
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Wilder ... Rudy Hickman
Carol Kane ... Annie Hickman
Dom DeLuise ... Adolph Zitz
Fritz Feld ... Tomaso Abalone
Mark Silberman Mark Silberman ... Cousin Buddy
Robert Ball Robert Ball ... Bald Man (as Robert E. Ball)
Randolph Dobbs Randolph Dobbs ... Yes Man #1
Sandy Rovetta Sandy Rovetta ... Woman Dancer
Hannah Dean Hannah Dean ... Maid
Rita Conde Rita Conde ... Whore #1
Lupe Ontiveros ... Whore #2
Teda Bracci Teda Bracci ... Whore #3
Elaine Everett Elaine Everett ... Whore #4
Gustaf Unger Gustaf Unger ... Producer
Harry Gold Harry Gold ... Freddie the Runner
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Storyline

In the early 1920s Hollywood, Adolph Zitz, who surrounds himself with yes men, wants his movie studio, Rainbow, to be the greatest in town by making a movie called the "World's Greatest Lover" and finding that next star to outshine Rudolph Valentino as the renowned screen lover of his time. Mild mannered and somewhat hapless Rudy Hickman dreams of being such a movie star, he daydreaming about it so much that he is unable to hold onto his bakery jobs. With his supportive but highly hysterical wife Annie Hickman by his side, Rudy, using the stage name Rudy Valentine, pulls up stakes from Milwaukee and heads to Hollywood to try out for that part. He ends up getting a screen test like the thousands of other hopefuls flooding Hollywood for the chance. Annie, who loves the movies herself but who is naive from not having had much exposure to the world, has ulterior motives for going to Hollywood. Both Annie's Hollywood mission and Valentino himself will affect what happens to Rudy in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Go ahead - laugh!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

13 February 1978 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

O Maior Amante do Mundo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The name of Adolph Zitz, the studio mogul played by Dom DeLuise, is a spoof of silent era Producer presenter Adolph Zukor. In real-life, Zukor moved from exhibition into production, and eventually consolidated several smaller companies into creating Paramount Pictures, retiring from Paramount in 1959, where he stayed on as Emeritus CEO until 1976. Ironically, in the film, Zitz is the head of Rainbow Studios, who is a rival to Paramount Pictures. See more »

Goofs

The "audition" record that Rudy listens to is obviously an LP running at 33 1/3 rpm. LPs would not be invented until the late 1940s. See more »

Quotes

Adolph Zitz: All right! We'll get lovers from every big city and hick town on the map. Because, gentlemen, I promise you that within two weeks, every male in America between the ages of 17 and 55 is going to stop for a moment and at least think about coming to Hollywood to screen test for the biggest chance of his life - the chance to star in the new Rainbow Studios film: The World's Greatest Lover! Now! How's that for an idea?
Yes Man #1: Great!
Yes Man #2: Gweat!
Sven, Yes Man #3: Great! Yoost great!
[points to the barber]
Barber: Very good...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a credit to Frederico Fellini, who was not on the picture, 'for encouragement at the right time'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Role Model: Gene Wilder (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't It Kinda Wonderful
Written by Gene Wilder
Sung by Harry Nilsson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carol Kane is the sole survivor.
10 September 2006 | by martinc43See all my reviews

I just saw this recently on DVD. I hadn't seen it since it was first released and couldn't remember it that well. Well, I've reacquainted myself with it and, although I'm genuinely not the one to exploit yiddishisms, my first thought was "Oy!" Somebody tell Gene Wilder to stop screaming! He did some funny shrieks in his previous films, including the Mel Brooks romps, but he kept it at the proper minimum. Here he screams in every scene like he's having his leg amputated with a steak knife and anesthetic was unavailable. Other times he mugs like a bad burlesque comic. The film itself is just as subtle, filled with loud music, heavy handed gags, and cartoon sound effects. The "Modern Times" parody is a major embarrassment. This film isn't even good bad. It's just sad bad. Even Wilder, in his DVD commentary said "They don't make movies like this today, and maybe that's a good thing." And then there's Carol Kane, who is absolutely adorable. In time, she too would become self conscious about her comic abilities (especially after "Taxi"), but here she gives a tender, endearing performance with occasional touches of genuine comedic spark which would be even better if only the material would give her more. The Sex-By-The-Numbers segment is the one truly funny bit in the movie.

Those two look like they were made for each other. I'm really surprised they didn't become an item after the movie. Maybe she just couldn't handle the screaming.


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