The Notorious Landlady

  • 1962
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Mystery

Shot entirely in California (which was made to look like London), this was Lemmon's fifth picture with Quine, his third with Novak, and his first with Astaire. A clever mystery-comedy, it has many witty lines, some hysterical slapstick, and a generally good plot to whisk us along. Lemmon is a State Department employee who has been transfered from Saudi...read more

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Shot entirely in California (which was made to look like London), this was Lemmon's fifth picture with Quine, his third with Novak, and his first with Astaire. A clever mystery-comedy, it has many witty lines, some hysterical slapstick, and a generally good plot to whisk us along. Lemmon is

a State Department employee who has been transfered from Saudi Arabia to London. There he rents a flat from Novak, who is under surveillance by Scotland Yard as a suspect in the case of her missing husband. Lemmon's boss, Astaire, and inspector Jeffries of the Yard ask him to snoop around, and he

reluctantly agrees. Novak's husband, Reed, shows up, and she kills him after a battle over some jewels he's stolen and can't find in the house. The cops tow Novak to jail, and she goes on trial. It's self-defense, of course (you didn't really think Novak was a cold-blooded killer, did you?), and

that's made clear in the testimony of Bevans, who lives with rich, old Winwood in the next house. But Bevans is lying. Winwood saw it all and told Bevans, who has testified because she wants to find the pawn ticket Reed referred to before Novak did him in. Bevans wants to use the information to

blackmail Novak so she can get the gems. Then she plans to kill Winwood, who has been placed in an old-age home by the sea in Penzance. A wild chase to get to Winwood begins because Bevans got the ticket, obtained the candelabra in which Reed placed the jewels, and then killed the pawnbroker. In

Penzance, Bevans pushes Winwood's wheelchair toward the edge of a cliff, but Lemmon arrives in time to save the old lady. Novak tackles Bevans as Astaire and Jeffries arrive by helicopter, after losing their way and being forced to land and ask a farmer for directions.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Shot entirely in California (which was made to look like London), this was Lemmon's fifth picture with Quine, his third with Novak, and his first with Astaire. A clever mystery-comedy, it has many witty lines, some hysterical slapstick, and a generally goo… (more)

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