USA Today - 06/16/1992
"...The script for this once-maligned classic is as funny as Andre Previn's score....The film is a visual stitch, too..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2004
"Dean Martin sends up his rat-pack image while Ray Walston fidgets around to humorous effect..."
In Wilder's smutty low comedy, Dean Martin has little trouble easing into the role of Dino, a womanizing pop singer with a yen for the grape. En route to Hollywood after a Las Vegas gig, he stops in a small Nevada town, where his arrival is considered a piece of extraordinary fortune by amateur songwriters, music teacher Orville J. Spooner (Ray Walston) and mechanic Barney Milsap (Cliff Osmond). To guarantee Dino's presence and a hearing for their songs, Barney makes a few alterations in his car, while Orville offers his house for the night. But when he learns of the singer's overwhelming need for sex, Orville gets his attractive wife Zelda (Felicia Farr) out of the house and persuades local hooker and waitress Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak) to take her place in case the singer needs special attention. Even so, when Dino makes the predicted moves on Polly, the music teacher still is overwhelmed by jealousy and throws the bewildered singer out of the house. Dino seeks refuge in a nearby bar, only to find Zelda drowning her sorrows.
Essential Cinema |
Mistaken Identity |
Pop Stars |
Peter Sellers was to play the lead, originally meant for Jack Lemmon, but he suffered a heart attack four weeks into filming and Ray Walston replaced him.
When the movie was first released, the Catholic Church denounced it.
Billy Wilder's favorite name, Sheldrake, appears again in the form of Dr. Sheldrake, played by the great Mel Blanc.