HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Kiss Me, Stupid Mean Dean
Year: 1964
Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston, Felicia Farr, Cliff Osmond, Barbara Pepper, Skip Ward, Doro Merande, Bobo Lewis, Tom Nolan, Alice Pearce, John Fiedler, Arlen Stuart, Howard McNear, Cliff Norton, Mel Blanc, Eileen O'Neill, Susan Wedell, Henry Gibson
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Popular singing star Dino (Dean Martin) has just performed yet another sell out show in Las Vegas, firing off the quips and crooning the tunes like a trouper all to rapturous applause from the audience. When he left the stage he promised some of the showgirls he would visit them in their rooms again for a bit of slap and tickle, but he was actually employing a diversionary tactic to make a clean getaway, knowing if he is distracted he'll never make his drive to the television studio for a special broadcast nationwide. Unfortunately, there's a diversion anyway, a roadblock so he must take an alternate route... straight into smalltown America.

The movie that disgusted America, and possibly quite a few other countries as well, arrived at a strange point in pop culture, when the old censorship rules were buckling under the weight of the new permissiveness, but not so much that general audiences found the subject of adultery fit for lewd comedy. Billy Wilder, a director no stranger to the innuendo and hidden meaning, collaborated with his regular writing partner I.A.L. Diamond to create what they hoped would be a sex farce which captured the spirit of those a-changin' times, but if anything rather than being groundbreaking he was probably a little too early with the vulgarity for the punters to take.

It was certainly a brave move for Dean Martin, who liked to play up his louche public image because he knew that was what his fans enjoyed, no matter how different he was in private; here his Dino character was essentially that persona dialled up to extreme levels, making for a personality who was - there was no getting away from it - deeply obnoxious. This could have been one of those movies where the filmmakers patronised the audience out in Middle America by representing them as fine, upstanding folks in comparison to the decadent showbiz types they watched in movies and TV or heard on record, and if it had it might have been a hit, except Wilder and Diamond had wider ranging target in mind.

So those smalltown denizens were not the backbone of society but uptight hypocrites who preferred to criticise and shame anyone not perceived to reach their own impossibly high standards, offering them no greater joy than to be offended and decry those they deigned beneath them regularly and with great enthusiasm. And Wilder wondered where he had gone wrong when Kiss Me, Stupid flopped, dismissing it thereafter yet learning no lessons as his work became coarser, though to be fair so did many of the Hollywood veterans' movies. It didn't do Martin's career any harm in the long run, unless you wanted to see his not inconsiderable acting talents truly employed: the Matt Helm series beckoned to be coasted through. The plot giving so much offence had Dino stopping at the gas station in the suggestively-named desert town of Climax and the attendant, Barney (Cliff Osmond) hoping to become a published songwriter if he can sell Dino a song or two.

He doesn't write them alone, his partner is piano teacher Orville, played by Ray Walston who replaced Peter Sellers quite some way into filming when the British comedian suffered a heart attack from stress, leaving footage lost as a tantalising "what if?" Nevertheless, Kiss Me, Stupid did become a cult movie mostly thanks to its bad taste, as Orville's wife Zelda (Felicia Farr), the most beautiful woman in town, is a source of pathological, unjustified jealousy to him and when Barney "fixes" Dino's car to ensure he spends the night with Orville and hears those songs, his big fan Zelda is sent packing and local cocktail waitress Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak doing a solid yet uncomfortable Marilyn Monroe impersonation) is drafted in to pose as Mrs Orville. Yes, the sexual politics were dodgy, but there was an audacious joke every so often which was funny in spite of the sour tone, and the move towards forgiveness for the finale was unexpectedly sweet, if a bit of a cheek after all we'd seen, the womanising infecting the minds of anyone it came into contact with. Songs, even the bad ones, by George and Ira Gershwin, and the score was by André Previn.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2222 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: