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Sunday, January 19, 2014

The World Of Henry Orient (1964)

Two precocious 14 year old girls (Merrie Spaeth, Tippy Walker) attending a prestigious private school in Manhattan become friends. When one of them develops a crush on a mediocre concert pianist (Peter Sellers), the girls begin to stalk him. Based on the novel by Nora Johnson, who co-wrote the screenplay with her father Nunnally Johnson (THE DIRTY DOZEN), this is a rather placid look at two rather privileged schoolgirls going through typical adolescent crushes and disappointments. It's rather charming up to a point, the point being when their activities become more annoying than cute. Fortunately, the adults provide a bit more levity to the proceedings. Surprisingly, a lot of people who saw the movie when it was first released seem to have a great affection for this movie. I did too until this recent rewatch and was rather underwhelmed except for Angela Lansbury as Walker's predatory mother in a top notch performance. Directed by George Roy Hill (THE STING). With an underused Paula Prentiss, Phyllis Thaxter, Tom Bosley, Bibi Osterwald and Peter Duchin (Eddy's son).

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