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THEY ALL LAUGHED (director/writer: Peter Bogdanovich; screenwriter: Blaine Novak; cinematographer: Robby Müller; editors: William C. Carruth/Scott Vickrey; music: Douglas Dilge; cast: Audrey Hepburn (Angela Niotes), Ben Gazzara (John Russo), John Ritter (Charles Rutledge), Colleen Camp (Christy Miller), Patti Hansen (Sam, cab driver), Dorothy Stratten (Dolores Martin), Blaine Novak (Arthur Brodsky), Linda MacEwen (Amy Lester), George Morfogen (Leon Leondopolis), Sean Ferrer (Jose), Glenn Scarpelli (Michael Niotes), Vassili Lambrinos (Stavros Niotes), Antonia Bogdanovich (Stefania Russo), Alexandra Bogdanovich (Georgina Russo), Sheila Stodden (Barbara Jo); Runtime: 115; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: George Morfogen/Blaine Novak; HBO Video; 1981)
“Not much sparkle.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This was the last pic for the fiftysomething Audrey Hepburn (went on to work for UNICEF) and Dorothy Stratten (the 20-year-old 1980 Playmate of the Year was murdered in 1980 at the end of filming by her jealous older husband, with certain plot points eerily resembling her tragic fate; she was involved at the time romantically with her director Bogdanovich and her hubby had private detectives tail her).

It’s a breezy romantic comedy about three Manhattan private detectives from the Odyssey Detective Agency, the world-weary cool John Russo (Ben Gazzara), the socially awkward Charles Rutledge (John Ritter) and the shaggy haired hippie roller-skating Arthur Brodsky (Blaine Novak, co-writer & co-producer), with the first two dicks falling for their subjects they are tailing, Angela Niotes (Audrey Hepburn) and Dolores Martin (Dorothy Stratten). The ladies are suspected of cheating by their husbands. Russo trails the bored rich wife of an Italian industrialist, Angela, while his partner Rutledge trails the unfaithful Dolores. Brodsky helps fill in the tails for the two lead investigators.

The film, an attempt to be a sophisticated Americanized La Ronde, was plodding (not much sparkle), and though it is somewhat engaging at times the laughter wasn’t all there–certainly not the “they all laughed” kind of laughter. It’s directed by Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”/”Paper Moon”/”Targets”), who calls it his favorite film, and is cowritten by Bogdanovich and Blaine Novak.

The comedienne Collen Camp has a supporting role as the fast-talking amorous country-and-western singer that gets the attention of both Russo and Rutledge, while Patti Hansen (a New York model) makes her acting debut by playing a cab driver nicknamed Sam. Hepburn’s real-life son Sean Ferrer has a minor role as a Latin lover.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”