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The Grass Is Greener Reviews

Originally a stage play in London, where it was a moderate hit, THE GRASS IS GREENER is an overly talky, often stultifyingly film. The long-winded story concerns a British earl, Grant, and his wife, Kerr, who have opened their palatial estage to the public (cringe) in order to meet the costs of its upkeep and maintain their luxurious style of living. Mitchum, a stereotypical Texas oilman and ugly American, enters the house and, showing no couth whatsoever, walks into Kerr's boudoir without being announced or invited. It's lust at first sight, of course, and the remainder of the movie concerns Grant's attempts to win back Kerr's heart. His campaign involves a series of silly contrivances, including an attempt to make Kerr jealous by enlisting his old girl friend, Simmons, to parade around the house in garish clothing and pretend that she is mad for the earl. Kerr and Grant are united at the end, Mitchum and Simmons having been conveniently paired off for a presumed happy future in the Lone Star State. Mitchum is leaden as the Texan, further dampening this botched attempt at quip-filled light comedy; only Grant manages to handle the morass of verbiage with charm. Director Donen takes us for a few romps in the green countryside to ease the claustrophobia, but this gratuitous meandering only serves to make us realize how hidebound the story is. Apart from Grant, the film's sole saving grace is Noel Coward's music, including the songs "The Stately Homes of England," "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," and "I'll Follow My Secret Heart."