Number of Times Seen – 1 (22 Sep 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A wealthy businessman travels to Italy to oversee the return of his father’s body after he dies while on vacation.
My Take on it – I have usually enjoyed Billy Wilder’s movies because he knew how to take serious situations and present them in an entertaining way that both stays true to the seriousness of the subject manner and also adds a bit of humor here and there.
This movie is no exception. I had never even heard of it until I saw that it lost the Best Musical/comedy Golden Globe to Cabaret (1972) in ’72.
I was rolling with laughter throughout my viewing of this because it worked so well.
Jack Lemmon always knew how to play the straight man in a comedy act and he does it perfectly in this one. His swipes at others are straightforward and usually hit below the belt but the story justs keeps moving along regardless of his snaps. This is one of his best roles.
I can see how this was originally conceived and presented as a play, but it works much better on screen.
It even starts off spectacularly with a completely silent scene aboard a plane that is only explained to the viewer a few minutes afterwards.
Bottom Line – Hilarious movie that uses its script superbly. The one liners and double entrants keep flying at us during every scene. Lemmon does some of his best work here. Wilder knows how to perfectly adapt a stage play to screen. Highly recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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