The title of this movie is far longer than the lines of people waiting to see it. This was one of the all-time busts at the box office, but it does have its moments. Its release was delayed until a new director (Mackendrick) came in to shoot a prolog and some other scenes in a vain
attempt to make some sense out of the shambles. A terrific cast was hampered by the screenplay (and the original idea), and even a later narration by two of the best gagmen around, McCormick and Baker, couldn't raise the level of humor. Russell is the domineering mother of Morse. The two go to the
Caribbean with her collection of Venus flytraps and a coffin in which resides the stuffed body of her dead husband, Winters (who narrates this film from On High). Morse is a whipped son, and Russell wants to get him to stand on his own feet. To that end, she fixes him up with sexy Harris.
Meanwhile, Russell is after wealthy Griffith, an old rakehell. Morse secretly looks at some of Russell's old home movies that she is showing to Griffith and is so shocked that he responds by wrecking everything she owns in the next room. Harris comes into the room and tries to seduce Morse and
won't stop, even when Winters' stuffed body comes out of the coffin and falls on top of them. Morse proceeds to strangle Harris (in a substitution for Russell, it seems) to death and then exits. Russell marries Griffith and comes back to the house to see what's transpired. There's a chase and
Griffith dies from a heart attack in an attempt to save Morse, who is in a mad motorboat he cannot control. Morse comes back to Russell, who is now in mourning for her second husband, and she leaves the island with her assemblage and two coffins. Everybody mugs unmercifully, and there's hardly a
joke that doesn't wheeze. Neil Hefti's score was taken, almost in toto, and used for another film, A NEW LEAF, as Paramount was trying to salvage something, anything, out of this disaster. A black comedy it's not, because the very word "comedy" should indicate some laughter. The only reason to see
this picture is to witness such fine performers running around like mice in a maze trying to figure out how to exit.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: The title of this movie is far longer than the lines of people waiting to see it. This was one of the all-time busts at the box office, but it does have its moments. Its release was delayed until a new director (Mackendrick) came in to shoot a prolog and s… (more)