HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
   
 
  Honey Pot, The Too Clever For His Own GoodBuy this film here.
Year: 1967
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward, Cliff Robertson, Capucine, Edie Adams, Maggie Smith, Adolfo Celi, Hugh Manning, David Dodimead
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Cecil Fox (Rex Harrison) is a very influential man who works in the theatre world, and his favourite play is Ben Jonson's Volpone which he likes to watch private stagings of for an audience of one: himself. Just as tonight, when he tells the baffled cast that they can cease their performance part of the way through as he knows how it ends, and off he goes into the Venetian night to commence putting his grandest show ever in motion. First he needs an accomplice, and after placing an advertisement in the newspaper thinks he has the right man, McFly (Cliff Robertson), who is bemused to learn he is not being hired for a theatrical show, but something that will play out in Fox's townhouse...

After the financial disaster of Cleopatra, writer and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz needed something more certain of making money, so designed this setbound comedy with a mystery flavour and an all-star cast. Filmed fairly cheaply in Rome, at the famed Cinecitta' studios, it was one of a run of such things, often Agatha Christie adaptations, which appeared in this decade and the next to lure in unsuspecting audiences hoping to see celebrities in an ingenious plot, the sort of thing that was sent up mercilessly in Murder By Death about ten years after this, and not coincidentally also featuring Maggie Smith in a key role. But as this was supposed to be funny as well, could you observe it had beaten Neil Simon to the punch?

Not really, because while that seventies movie was an out and out spoof, The Honey Pot was serious about its plot, it just had the characters exchanging barbed lines to provide the laughs. Or it would have done if they had been funny, for the blockbuster that wasn't debacle of some years before had apparently taken its toll on Mankiewicz and he had alas developed a tin ear for would-be classy dialogue. Everything the characters said here sounded overwritten and straining for a sophistication that was beyond its grasp, with details presumably intended to be delightfully irreverent, such as Fox's athletic ballet dancing (an obvious double was used) coming across as simply bizarre.

Our anti-hero's scheme is to bring together three of his exes, all of whom are rich but Lone Star (Susan Hayward) is the richest of the lot, and pretend that he is dying so he can gauge their reactions and find out what they really thought of him, along with the satisfaction of messing with their heads in the process. The other two were movie star Merle McGill (Edie Adams, an underused talent in film) and a Princess (Capucine, looking tired), and you had to wonder why any of this trio agreed to show up at all given they display little affection for the man, unless they were after the contents of his will which as is pointed out doesn't make much sense either when they were all comfortably well off. It is about this time that the twist was introduced, based as we begin to realise on that play Fox likes so much.

It was typical of this film's intellectual aspirations that it would base its premise on that of a four-hundred-year old play, with Volpone being what Jonson would be best known for aside from being a pal of William Shakespeare or being buried in his grave standing up. Those facts were more interesting than what was conjured up here at some length, and even that was cut down from an even more elephantine running time, which to dilute the material further was based on a different play based on a book based on the Jonson work. No wonder Fox is obsessed with time and clocks, a theme that this did very little with other than provide a hook for the production design, otherwise this had a drab, cluttered appearance that should have really been dressing up all those acres of dialogue with a more interesting setting. Only Maggie Smith in a supporting role seemed to have a handle on what to do to bring some life to this, but in its final stages it just grew too arch for its own good. Luckily Mankiewicz didn't end his career with this, he still had Sleuth up his sleeve, a far better play to screen adaptation than The Honey Pot proved to be. Music by John Addison.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1347 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: