Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paris When It Sizzles

Secretary Audrey Hepburn helps screenwriter William Holden who is stuck on his script. Also starring Noel Coward and Tony Curtis with cameos of Marlene Dietrich and Mel Ferrer, directed by Richard Quine.

I've already talked about two Quine movies, The Notorious Landlady, which I didn't like and How To Murder Your Wife, which I wasn't even able to finish. The guy knows how to point the camera in the right direction but doesn't seem to have much of a visual sense. And based on this film he's not too good with the actors either. This is the first Audrey Hepburn film I've seen where she's actually a bit annoying, her mannerisms turned up to eleven. But maybe the director asked her to do that Audrey Hepburn thing. William Holden is also normally an sympathetic actor, here he's just trying too hard. The two of them work on the script, then we see them as actors in that movie, only for Holden to scrap that idea and try something else. After half an hour it gets tiresome and there's still an hour left. If the movie within the movie had been exciting it might have worked. But in the end they decide it's just silly hackwork. So why exactly have we been watching it?


  1. In defense of Richard Quine (who made a lot of mediocre movies, it's true): "Strangers When We Meet," a very a-typical, adult, sad melodrama about an extra-marital affair in 50s suburbia. Beautiful widescreen color compositions and mood, like something out of Nicholas Ray. I personally have a soft spot for "Bell Book and Candle," as well. Guess I like Kim Novak. I enjoy your capsule reviews Jason!

  2. Hmm... Well, if I should find a copy of Strangers When We Meet, I'm ready to give the guy another chance! Maybe I just saw the wrong films... Even mediocre directors can hit it out of the park once in a while.