A lavish, frantic comedy with Shirley MacLaine as a serial wife, marrying one of the best casts ever assembled: Dick Van Dyke’s humble storekeeper turned zillionaire; Paul Newman’s American artist in Paris; Robert Mitchum’s Howard Hughes-type tycoon; and Gene Kelly’s matinée idol.
Much of the movie falls flat and it always tries too hard but Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s script – they also wrote Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and The Band Wagon (1953) – comes up with some clever demises for the husbands (Mitchum is kicked by the bull he is trying to milk) and mercilessly satirises the egotism of Kelly.
In 1964 the visual style was a knockout. Today you might need to watch it through sunglasses.
Dick Van Dyke
J Lee Thompson