THE PLEASURE SEEKERS
(director: Jean Negulesco; screenwriters: Edith Sommer/from the novel by John H. Secondari; cinematographer: Daniel L. Fapp; editor: Louis R. Loeffler; music: Lionel Newman; cast: Ann-Margret(Fran Hobson), Pamela Tiffen(Susie Higgins), Carol Lynley (Maggie Williams), Andre Lawrence(Dr. Andrés Briones), Gene Tierney (Jane Barton), Isobel Elsom (Doña Teresa Lacaye), Tony Franciosa (Emilio Lacaye), Brian Keith(Paul Barton), Gardner McKay (Pete Stenello); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating:NR; producer: David Weisbart; 20th Century Fox; 1964)
“The apolitical fluff comedy doesn’t even give a hint that it’s set during the Franco reign.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Jean Negulesco (“A Certain Smile”/”The World of Suzie Wong”) follows the same box office hit formula as he did when directing Three Coins in the Fountain in the 1950s, but switches locations from Rome to Madrid and slightly changes the storyline. It’s written by Edith Summer in an agreeable but contrived way, and is based on the novel by John H. Secondari. The apolitical fluff comedy doesn’t even give a hint that it’s set during the Franco reign. It’s about three young American women who come to Madrid for romance, culture and adventure.Fran Hobson (Ann-Margaret) is an ambitious singer/dancer, who rooms with the American news agency secretary Maggie Williams (Carol Lynley). They are joined by Maggie’s art lover square friend Susie Higgins (Pamela Tiffin). When the visiting Madrid handsome young medic, Dr. Andrés Briones (Andre Lawrence), hits Fran with his Vespa, a romance begins. Fran visits the doctor in his rural village and joins the natives dancing on the beach, as she does the sexy dance number ‘Everything Makes Music When You’re in Love’. The young Maggie has a crush on her married middle-aged boss Paul Barton (Brian Keith), who flirts with her until it dawns on him that he loves his wife (Gene Tierney). Next up is the young reporter at the agency, Peter (Gardner McKay), who has eyes for her. Susie bumps into rich playboy Emilio Lacaye (Tony Franciosa), and begins an affair when she is relieved to find out that he’s single. All the relationships crystalize at a party given by Barton, who is returning to America with his family. The remake is dated and vacuous. But for the undemanding viewer, it still might have some punch as a safe comedy. For me the touristy tour of the Prado to gaze at the paintings by Velazquez and El Greco was a nod in the right direction of what is pleasurable.
REVIEWED ON 6/11/2017 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/