Richard Quine – Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

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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. Continue reading

Richard Quine – Paris – When It Sizzles (1964)

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Hollywood producer Alexander Meyerheimer has hired drunken writer Richard Benson to write his latest movie. Benson has been holed up in a Paris apartment supposedly working on the script for months, but instead has spent the time living it up. Benson now has just two days to the deadline and thus hires a temporary secretary, Gabrielle Simpson, to help him complete it in time. Continue reading

Richard Quine – Bell Book and Candle (1958)

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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.

And, as Daniel Taradash has reduced it in a screen play directed by Richard Quine, it is not distinguished by any consistant witchary or bounce.

However, Julian Blaustein’s production of this mildly supernatural romance is as sleek and pictorially entrancing as any romance we’ve looked at this year. From the atelier of the heroine, who is a dealer in primitive art, to a smoky night club in Greenwich Village, where the local sorceresses and their apprentices play, it is vividly visual an dsuggestive. Continue reading

Richard Quine – How to Murder Your Wife (1965)

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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. Continue reading

Richard Quine – Synanon (1965)

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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. Continue reading