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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In The Cool Of The Day (1963)

An unhappily married Englishman (Peter Finch) falls in love with his best friend's (Arthur Hill) young wife (Jane Fonda), who is frail and in ill health. While vacationing together in Greece, their love blooms but not without consequences. This romantic sudser contains some interesting characters, most notably Angela Lansbury (who walks off with the movie) as Finch's spiteful, bitter wife but the lackluster direction of Robert Stevens (principally a TV director with very few feature films to his credit) and the wan script with cliched dialog by Meade Roberts (based on the novel by Susan Ertz) doesn't leave us with much to hold on to. It doesn't help that Finch and Fonda have zero chemistry. I don't think I've seen so much passionless passion since the pairing of Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas in THE ENGLISH PATIENT! Though watching I couldn't help but think what a marvelous Nicole in TENDER IS THE NIGHT Fonda would have made. The wide screen Panavision cinematography by Peter Newbrook makes the Greek locations look postcard perfect. The over insistent score is by Francis Chagrin and Nat King Cole sings the schmaltzy title song. With Constance Cummings, Alexander Knox and Madeleine Sherwood.

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