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Bedtime Story (1964)

Marlon Brando and David Niven play two rival con men on the French Riviera – Freddy Benson and Lawrence Jameson – who try to trick TV soap star Janet Walker (Shirley Jones) out of her riches. They make for an unlikely double act but the results are absolutely hilarious.

Besides Niven’s irresistible debonair charm, we have Brando’s extraordinary catalogue of accents and disguises, notably his mentally challenged, Ruritanian prince Ruprecht.

It’s by no means a perfect comedy, and it’s marred by some phoney sets and back projection, but it deserves to be known in its own right rather than just as the basis for the Michael Caine/Steve Martin remake, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988).

Freddy Benson
Marlon Brando
Lawrence Jameson
David Niven
Janet Walker
Shirley Jones
Fanny Eubank
Dody Goodman
Aram Stephan
Colonel Williams
Parley Baer
Mrs Sutton
Marie Windsor
Miss Trumble
Rebecca Sand

Ralph Levy