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Saturday, November 9, 2013

For Love Or Money (1963)

When her three daughters threaten to challenge the conditions of their father's will, a wealthy woman (Thelma Ritter) hires an attorney (Kirk Douglas) to arrange marriages for her three daughters. Two of the daughters, a health nut (Julie Newmar) and a patroness of the arts (Leslie Parrish, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE) prove easy but it's the third daughter (Mitzi Gaynor) who proves to be the stumbling block. This romantic comedy gets the full on Ross Hunter, even though he had nothing to do with the film, glamour treatment (sets, costumes, jewels and furs etc.) and director Michael Gordon who had a big hit with PILLOW TALK is the director. One can see what the picture was supposed to be and everyone tries hard but ... no soap. The screenplay might (and that's a very iffy might) have worked with, say, Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds in the leads. But Kirk Douglas doesn't have the light touch required for material like this and Gaynor, who's cute and a terrific dancer, has an artificiality about her acting that often renders her charmless. It's slack when it should be fizzy. With Gig Young giving his patented "best friend who loses the girl" performance, William Bendix, William Windom, Elizabeth MacRae, Dick Sargent and Edy Williams.

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