Comedy / Crime / Romance
Comedy / Crime / Romance
The early 1900's with its Mann-Act (disallowing women to be transported across State lines for immoral reasons) brings a married man to devise a scheme for taking his upper-class girlfriend away with him... he simply has her marry his unmarried buddy. However, it doesn't take very long before both men start laying claim to her affection... until, that is, she's about to be cut out of her parent's fortune. So, a new scheme is devised, which only adds to their problems, as well as to the sly whimsy of this film.
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February 20, 2018 at 11:07 AM
Amusing Nichols film with Hilarious Nicholson!
Mike Nichols' last good film that I'm sure bombed at the time. Stockard Channing almost steals the show as the young heiress, Warren Beatty is perfectly cast, and Nicholson is hilarious without doing much (great hair). There were a lot of good films in the 70's and this should have been included on most lists.
A 7 out of 10. Best performance = Jack Nicholson. There are scenes that fall flat, but the ones that work make it worthwhile. Great costumes and art-set direction as well. It's hard to imagine these two actors (Beatty & Nicholson) playing the characters they did in REDS six years later after playing these buffoons. Give it a shot.
A trifle despite the heavyweight talent...
There's one very funny, very inspired moment in THE FORTUNE involving Stockard Channing, Jack Nicholson and the wing of an airplane. It's a shame the remainder of this short, lightweight movie isn't quite as amusing. Nicholson is blackmailed by shifty Warren Beatty into marrying kooky heiress Channing, thus allowing the already married Beatty to avoid any Mann Act related ramifications. The trio travels from New York to Los Angeles, where the boys attempt to bump off Channing in hopes of gaining her inheritance. It's directed by Mike Nichols and has a script by Carol Eastman (aka Adrien Joyce, writer of FIVE EASY PIECES) so it's very surprising how stillborn the film is. Channing tries mightily to channel Carole Lombard and Nicholson is hysterical, cast way against type as a dimwit. Beatty plays it broadly and is OK, although he's pretty out of sync with the rest of the performers. Excellent production values including pitch perfect 1930s art direction by Richard Sylbert and a fun score by David Shire help to make the film an enjoyable trifle, but an 88 minute trifle is not something you'd expect from such heavyweight talent. Bassett hound faced Florence Stanley has a few choice moments as a very hot and bothered landlady.
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Good moments,Funny Nicholson,Otherwise Poor Effort
Ramshackle farce with a few funny moments, mainly thanks to Nicholson's largely inspired comedic work, but little else. Mike Nichols is adept at coasting along on clever scripts,but he's clearly unable to salvage wayward material like this. In particular, the running gag which comprises the last half hour or so of the film wears incredibly thin. Beatty and Channing seem to be trying,to little avail, while Nicholson walks away with the film. He's particularly adroit in the first 20 minutes,before the film gets lost in it's own series of ambling vignettes. Still can't hold a candle to the old W.C. Fields or Laurel & Hardy films. Watch one of those instead.