Henry Orient (Peter Sellers in his first Hollywood film) is a madly egocentric and overly amorous unexceptional avant-garde concert pianist – sometimes Latin and sometimes Asiatic in his accent, and sometimes, in his more impassioned moments, descending to the Bronx – who is hilariously pursued all around New York City by two fourteen-year-old fans.
The girls, kookie Valarie “Val” Campbell Boyd (Tippy Walker) – who wears her mother’s enormous discarded mink coat, visits a psychiatrist regularly and is a piano prodigy – and her school chum Marian “Gil” Gilbert (Merrie Spaeth) chase a harassed Henry all over the city, thwarting his afternoon liaisons with Stella Dunnworthy (Paula Prentiss), a skittish married woman, and leaving utter chaos behind them.
They are in his audience at Carnegie Hall, they stake out his apartment, and they wait all day for him, goggling dreamily.
Val’s sexually promiscuous mother, Isabel (Angela Lansbury), eventually appears on the scene to put a stop to the girls’ shenanigans, compromising herself in the process.
This was the official American entry to the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.
Valarie Campbell Boyd
Mrs Avis Gilbert
George Roy Hill