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  One More Time You Remind Me Of SomeoneBuy this film here.
Year: 1970
Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, John Wood, Dudley Sutton, Maggie Wright, Ester Anderson, Percy Herbert, Anthony Nicholls, Allan Cuthbertson, Leslie Sands, Moultrie Kelsall, Glyn Owen, Lucille Soong, Bill Maynard, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Fiona Lewis
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Charles Salt (Sammy Davis Jr) and Christopher Pepper (Peter Lawford) are nightclub owners in London who like to spend their time boozing and womanising and gambling, but it seems today those habits have caught up with them as they are arrested for confronting a police officer and the amount of debts they have amassed. The judge freezes their assets and orders them to pay up in a week, or else face the consequences, which leaves them at a loss of what to do next. It is then Pepper's twin brother Sydney (also Lawford) shows up, unimpressed, but with a chance for them...

This was the follow up to 1968's Salt & Pepper, which somehow must have made money in spite of it being something of a shambles, but a goodnatured shambles for all that. For the sequel they hired ex-Rat Packers Davis and Lawford's old pal Jerry Lewis to direct, making this the only one of his movies which he didn't appear in, unless you count the dubbing of the voice of a bandleader later on. In this case, he appeared to regard Davis as the black Jerry Lewis, judging by the amount of mugging and overacting he instructed the star to perform; Lawford, not being that sort of performer, was relegated to the Dean Martin straight man role, though he didn't sing.

It was Sammy who delivered the tunes: the title song over the opening credits as the duo drive around Swinging London in an open topped Rolls Royce, a more plaintive ballad apparently sung to Lawford, and a jazzier number at a ball. That middle one resulted from the main plot which saw Pepper finding his stuffy twin dead thanks to a poison dart in his apartment, and taking his place through the cunning device of combing his hair differently and donning a false moustache, along with a posher accent, all the better to find out who the murderer was. But the strange thing is, as if that were not strange enough: Pepper doesn't let his supposed best friend Salt in on the scheme.

Therefore we get weirdly out of place dramatics as Salt goes into mourning, prompting Davis to go for the Oscar as he emotes over his lost pal ("He liked me!") and at the funeral he tells one of Pepper's exes (Ester Anderson) that he plans to kill Sydney because he believes he bumped off Chris when it seemed as if he was threatening his title and wealth. Except it's Sydney who's dead and Christopher who's still alive, and it takes a good hour of not very much happening for Salt to work this out - if they were such good friends, wouldn't this have been more fun to have them both in on the joke and combating the baddies? But nope, we get lots of scenes of Sammy messing about in the mansion the action decamps to early on.

A part of that messing about is practically the only reason this is recalled at all, and that's a couple of cameos. This is when Salt finds a secret door in a bookcase, ventures in and stumbles upon a lab where the Frankenstein Monster, Igor the hunchback, Dr Frankenstein himself and Count Dracula are having a "party" and invite Salt to join them. Notable because the latter two were Hammer stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, getting one line each, and leaving legions of their fans feeling shortchanged that they tracked this down to see their favourite horror stars only to find their performances last mere seconds. It's only at the last ten minutes or so that the expected running around occurs, as before that there's an inordinate amount of self-indulgence with a 2001: A Space Odyssey spoof (not as exciting as that sounds) and Davis evidently coaxed into pulling yet more funny faces in the Lewis manner. Incidentally, Fiona Lewis gained notoriety at the time for slagging off her director in the papers as a tyrant, so supposedly was cut from the film - but that sure looks like her at the funeral. Music by Les Reed.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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