Richard Quine

Richard Quine – Drive a Crooked Road (1954)

Music Box Theatre writes:
Before becoming famous for creating PETER GUNN and the PINK PANTHER movies, Blake Edwards scripted this extraordinary, if virtually unknown, ’50s film noir, which casts a fully-grown Mickey Rooney against type as a lovelorn mechanic whose craving for fast cars and a faster woman (the alluring Dianne Foster) drives him to sign on as wheelman in a bank robbery. In what may be his finest performance, Rooney delivers a compelling characterization of the “Little Freak,” whose desire for a duplicitous woman leads to an unforgettable conclusion. One of finest noir films of the fifties. Read More »

Richard Quine – Full of Life (1956)

Museum of Modern Art writes:
In a gender twist on the “meddling mother-in-law,” Nick Rocco’s old-world father, Vittorio Rocco (Salvatore Baccaloni), can’t help insinuating himself into his son and daughter-in-law’s lives. Nick and Emily are just a few days away from the birth of their first child and Vittorio—a skilled handyman—is called in to help with repairs in their new home. Nick is reluctant to rely upon his meddling dad, but the repairs have to be made before the baby comes home. Baccaloni was an opera singer and member of the La Scala Opera in Milan. Read More »

Richard Quine – Bell Book and Candle (1958)


29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

A Witch in Love; ‘Bell, Book and Candle’ at Fine Arts, Odeon

THE magic in “Bell, Book and Candle,” which opened at the Fine Arts and Odeon Theatres on Christmas, is not so much black as chromatic. It’s the color that’s bewitching in this film.

Actually, its story of a young lady who possesses some supernatural power, which she uses to inveigle a gentleman into falling in love with her, is neither as novel nor engaging as you might expect it to be. Pretty young ladies in movies are bewitching gaga fellows all the time with enticements and devices that are magic, so fas as the audience can tell. So the gimmick of John van Druten’s stage play, which has been used as the basis for this film — the gimmick of a woman endowed with witchcraft—is really rather silly and banal. Read More »

Richard Quine – Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

SYNOPSIS:
Natalie Wood was never more beautiful, and the battle of the sexes was never more fun. It’s great to see a love story that doesn’t resort to foul language or adult humor, but simply witty dialog and the vagaries of human nature.
Tony Curtis plays a tabloid reporter trying to get the goods on Helen Gurley Brown (Natalie) and her personal life to find out if she actually knows anything about sex and relationships. To this end, he impersonates an acquaintance (Henry Fonda) who is having problems with his jealous wife (Lauren Bacall) so that he can pose as a patient and seek her advice.
The confusion caused by this impersonation just leads to more problems, naturally. However, this is just a sideshow to the reporter’s attempted seduction of Dr. Brown and the glorious mayhem that ensues. Read More »

Richard Quine – How to Murder Your Wife (1965)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Jack Lemmon is a happily unmarried man with all the creature comforts one could desire including a wonderful butler who takes care of all his material needs. At a bachelor party for a friend, Lemmon gets drunk and wakes up married to an Italian woman who speaks nearly no English. It totally alters his life. He even changes the cartoon he writes and shifts it from a secret agent to a household comedy. When he begins to have trouble with all of these changes he starts to plot that at least his secret agent cartoon will return to order and plans, in his daily comic strip, killing his wife. When she disappears, the cartoons are used as evidence at his trial. Read More »

Richard Quine – Synanon (1965)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Submitted to boost your holiday season cheer: Richard Quine’s grim and downbeat portrait of Synanon, the storied (and scandal-plagued) junkie rehab house, and its resident ex-dope fiends struggling to stay clean. Twitchy, soul-bearing performances, endless cigarette smoking, and furniture-smashing withdrawal fits abound. In spades. Read More »