(director/writer: Blake Edwards; cinematographer: Henry Stradling; editor: Ralph Winters; music: Henry Mancini; cast: William Holden (Tim Culley), Julie Andrews(Sally Miles), Richard Mulligan (Felix Farmer), Robert Vaughn(David Blackman), Marisa Berenson (Mavis), Robert Webber (Ben Coogan), Larry Hagman(Dick Benson), Loretta Swit (Polly Reed), Robert Preston (Dr. Irving Finegarten), Shelley Winters (Eva Brown), David Young (Sam Marshall), Craig Stevens (Willard), Jennifer Edwards (Lila), Larry Storch); Runtime: 121; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Tony Adams/Blake Edwards; WB; 1981)
“Cynical satire on Hollywood has no punch, just a lot of inane jabs.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A bomb. The comedy Blake Edwards (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”/”The Pink Panther Strikes Again”) envisioned is not funny except for a few sordid bits and his cynical satire on Hollywood has no punch, just a lot of inane jabs. It’s a bummer.
Too bad the fine actor William Holden bows out with this piece of dreck. Too bad Julie Andrews thought she had to change her good girl image to make this dirty film. Successful Hollywood producer/director Felix Farmer (Richard Mulligan) makes the studio’s highest budget film at $30 million and it’s the first of his many films to lose money. The wealthy Malibu residing filmmaker becomes suicidal and his film star wife Sally (Julie Andrews), who starred in the flop family musical, has to be talked out of a divorce. The sleazy studio head, David Blackman (Robert Vaughn), calls in Culley (William Holden) to re-shoot the film while he tries to get Felix to give up his final cut clause in his contract with the studio. But Felix survives several suicide attempts and comes up with the bright idea of shooting the flop again as a sex film with his wholesome wife Sally going topless. It should be noted that Blake’s real-life wife is Julie.
The self-serving poisoned letter to Hollywood is a tawdry, amoral film that shows how low the exploitative Edwards can stoop and still arrogantly think he’s so clever while still unaware he’s dissing the same audience that goes to his films by looking down on their taste.
REVIEWED ON 5/21/2018 GRADE: C https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/