Penelope 01/25/20

The Warner Archive Collection

What can one say about a comedy that just limps along, even when an attractive cast does fine work every step of the way? ¬†Even the bit parts are creatively cast in this odd romp infected with a really bad case of The Cutes. Natalie Wood is at her best, but in service of dumb gags: let’s blow bubble gum bubbles! The result so upset Natalie that she ditched her studio contract. The roster of engaging talent includes Peter Falk (in suave leading man mode!), Dick Shawn (less grating than usual), Lila Kedrova & Lou Jacobi (showing real style), Jonathan Winters (wasted) and, of all people, Ian Bannen as Natalie Wood’s uncomprehending husband. Bannen is so good, he drags a real laugh or two from the material. The show has been beautifully remastered — it’s part one of this week’s accidental tribute to director Arthur Hiller. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.