A New Leaf

  • 1971
  • 1 HR 42 MIN
  • G

An often funny film that might have been funnier had anyone seen the original version. May, tripling as star, writer, and director, attempted to have her credits removed from the picture since, after the studio recut it, she felt that it did not reflect her work. In her version Henry Graham (Matthau) gets away with two murders. Another lost scene showed...read more

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An often funny film that might have been funnier had anyone seen the original version. May, tripling as star, writer, and director, attempted to have her credits removed from the picture since, after the studio recut it, she felt that it did not reflect her work. In her version Henry Graham

(Matthau) gets away with two murders. Another lost scene showed Henrietta (May) fantasizing herself as a sexy woman men cannot resist. The film May handed in ran over 180 minutes, and since this one is only 102 minutes, we can only guess what was excised. Nevertheless, and despite her rancor, the

picture was delightful and did well with critics and audiences alike.

Graham is a ne'er-do-well who has exhausted the huge trust fund he was left at his father's death. Understandably shaken, Graham decides to follow the solution proposed by his live-in man (Rose): marry a rich woman. Borrowing some money from his hated uncle (Coco), he eventually sets his sights on

the ungainly and myopic Henrietta, a botanist who is heir to a huge fortune. After marrying her, Graham plans to kill Henrietta when they make her yearly trip to the mountains. Before that, though, he must deal with Henrietta's crooked lawyer (Weston) and servant (Roberts). Will love ever find a a

way?

In some ways a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930s, A NEW LEAF often recalls several of them in its satire, inventiveness and wit. There is no music credit; the score of OH DAD, POOR DAD, MAMA'S HUNG YOU IN THE CLOSET AND I'M FEELIN' SO SAD was transferred, almost entirely, to this

movie. That score was written by Neal Hefti and works better here than it did there.

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