Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) torrent download

Kiss Me, Stupid

1964

Action / Comedy / Romance

7

Synopsis

Dino, the charming and lecherous Las Vegas singer, stops for gas on his way to Hollywood in Climax, Nevada. The oily gas station attendant is Barney Millsap, a would-be lyricist who writes pop songs with Orville Spooner, the local piano teacher. By disabling Dino's car, Barney contrives a scheme to have Dino sing one of their songs on an upcoming TV special. To entertain Dino, Barney contacts the village tart, Polly, employing her to pretend to be Orville's wife, Zelda, for a night. She doesn't like Dino, but does love being Orville's surrogate wife. Dino goes to a bar, where he meets the real Zelda, and they spend the night together while Polly spends it with Orville.

Director

Billy Wilder

Cast

Kim Novak
as Polly the Pistol
Ray Walston
as Orville Jeremiah Spooner
Felicia Farr
as Zelda Spooner
Cliff Osmond
as Barney Milsap
Barbara Pepper
as Big Bertha
Skip Ward
as Milkman

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kzoofilm 8 /10

An undeserved bad reputation

When writer-director Billy Wilder made `Kiss Me, Stupid' in 1964, he was riding high: His comedy-drama `The Apartment' had won the Oscar as best picture in 1960 and Wilder's `Irma La Douce,' released in 1963, had been a smash. `Stupid,' however, would not receive critical raves or a warm reception at the box office. Instead it would be condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, banned in several cities and dropped by its original distributor United Artists, which gave `Stupid' a limited and unsuccessful release through its art-film branch Lopert Films. Seen today, it's laughable to think that this innuendo-laden but mostly innocuous comedy created such a furor. Admittedly, Wilder pushed the boundaries of good taste with some of the dialogue and imagery. Even so the movie is far more nutty than smutty. Set in the Nevada hamlet of Climax, `Stupid' tells the story of church organist and piano teacher Orville J. Spooner (Ray Walston), who is insanely overprotective of his adoring and adorable wife Zelda (Felicia Farr, who was married to Jack Lemmon offscreen). Orville and buddy Barney (Cliff Osmond) write songs in their spare time – one is called `I'm Taking Mom to the Junior Prom ‘Cuz She's a Better Twister Than My Sister,' and another begins, `I'm a poached egg without a piece of toast/Yorkshire Pudding without a beef to roast' – and they're excited when singing sensation Dino (Dean Martin as the same kind of leering lush he usually played in his nightclub act and on TV) is stranded in town. Orville thinks he can sell some material to Dino, but the aspiring tunesmith is alarmed by Dino's reputation as a great seducer and fears Zelda, a Dino fan, will end up in the star's clutches. So Orville hires Polly (Kim Novak), a trampy type with teased platinum hair who works at the local dive known as The Belly Button, to pretend to be his wife while he entertains Dino for an evening. Thanks to a series of surprises, it becomes a night to remember for all concerned, including Zelda, who wasn't even supposed to be a part of it in the first place. As the somewhat similar `Indecent Proposal' would do almost 30 years later, `Stupid' ultimately states that the best way to test a relationship is to walk away from it for a while and see what happens. What separates `Stupid' from so many of the so-called `sex comedies' of the period is its combination of cynicism and directness. Beneath the teasing and the titillation there are some genuinely provocative themes about human nature and the sacrifices we're willing to make to catch a break. Although the movie has what might be termed a happy ending, it's a conclusion with more than a few dark clouds hanging over it. Wilder and Diamond must have somehow known that the second half of the 1960s would be fraught with social changes and the re-evaluation of old standards. What looked like trash in 1964 seems pretty prescient when screened today.

Reviewed by lzf0 N/A

Very Funny in Two Versions

Did you know that there are two released versions of this film? The European release is slightly different from the American release. I have just seen the European version in a sparkling print shown in New York. The tint of the American prints seem to be a darker than the European print. The biggest difference is the trailer scene between Dean Martin and Felicia Farr. Wilder was forced to re-shoot the scene by the American censors. In the European version, there is no doubt that Martin and Farr have a sexual encounter during their night together. This makes the film stronger, but the American scene is much, much funnier and we are left with a doubt as to whether Dean and the pianist's wife had a one night stand.

Seeing this film with an audience was a revelation! The jokes work 99% of the time and laughter filled the theater from the first frame until the last frame. I do feel that with Kim Novack and Ray Walston in pivotal roles, we are given the bus and truck company instead of the heavy hitters. What a film this would have been had these roles been played by Marilyn Monroe and Peter Sellers! Jack Lemmon would have been an excellent choice as well for the Walston role. Now Walston is fine; he is a skillful comic actor but he lacks a certain charisma which prevented him from becoming a top star. Novack, while never a great actress, actually plays the comedy quite well. It is a pleasant surprise. I have also been bothered by Ian Freebairn-Smith's dubbing of Walston's singing voice in the two songs "Sophia" and "All the Livelong Day". Walston had a musical comedy background and sang in the movies "Damn Yankees" and "South Pacific". Maybe the vocals were recorded while Peter Sellers was still on the project. Of course, Dean Martin is perfect in this film. He plays himself, or shall I say he plays his known caricature, and he does it beautifully. He proves what a fine comedian he has always been. Take that Jerry!

Reviewed by Katmiss 10 /10

BILLY WILDER'S MOST UNDERRATED FILM

Billy Wilder's "Kiss Me,Stupid" was one of the few flops in the great writer/producer/director's canon. It was condemned by the Catholic League and was not well received by the critics or public. And it's a shame because this is one of Wilder's very best films; a cynical, often very funny comedy about a very touchy subject: fidelity (which probably accounts for its PG-13 rating; an oblique tribute to its' power)

Ray Walston stars as Orville Spooner, a third rate songwriter from a small town who has yet to chart a big hit. The role was originally cast with Peter Sellers, but after suffering seven heart attacks in a row, Wilder recast the part with Walston. I think it works out better this way. Sellers' greatest strength is improvisation, which Wilder is dead against. Walston has a dry, scorching delivery that works wonders with Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's crisp dialogue. This is his best film work and he deserved an Oscar for this role.Dean Martin is cast as "Dino", a drunken, womanizing singer (how much of that was fiction?). Kim Novak is surprisingly good as the town hooker. Between "Vertigo", "Picnic" and this, who would have thought what a great actress Novak really is? She takes such great risks that a bigger actress wouldn't. And last, but not least, Wilder regular Cliff Osmond has the showiest of his Wilder roles as Walston's songwriting partners. (His lyrics for Walston's music are a riot)

I'm not going to give away the plot here because so much of the film's success is dependent on the element of surprise and there are many. But what amazes me is that you can take the riskiest of material and make it funny. Anything can be funny. It's all in how you do it. For example, Tom Green's "Freddy Got Fingered" wallows in just being disgusting and on that level, it is very wretched indeed. In fact, one could say that "Kiss Me, Stupid" was the "Freddy Got Fingered" of its' day. But Billy Wilder isn't just satisfied with presenting something. He has wit and he has ideas. He takes this material and presents it in such a way that it works as drama too.

It's also a great piece of filmmaking. Wilder's film is widescreen black and white, which emphasizes the characters and story. This is important because if it had been in color, we might have gotten caught up with atmosphere. While sometimes that's a good thing, this film has too many rich characters to care with the atmosphere.

Wilder is a master of the "serious comedy", movies in which we laugh so we may not cry. His titles include "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" ( a wonderful film which was never seen as fully intended) , "Ace In The Hole", "Stalag 13", "The Apartment", "Irma La Douce" and "The Fortune Cookie". "Kiss Me, Stupid" is very much in key with his body of work. It's a shame that this film still hasn't gotten the respect it deserves. It's a bigger shame that even fewer people understand it . That's a biting observation of our society.

**** out of 4 stars

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