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A low flying bedroom farce

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A hugely successful French bedroom farce given an American makeover and then shot in France (well, the exteriors at least), 1965's Boeing Boeing is one of those swinging sex comedies that now looks rather innocent. Tony Curtis is the Paris-based reporter who keeps three separate air stewardesses (British United, Lufthansa and Air France) under the illusion that each is his fiancé, keeping them all in his apartment and oblivious via judicious use of the airline timetables and split second timing, and with some world-weary help from housekeeper Thelma Ritter. Naturally disaster is on the horizon as new jets cut hours off the flying time and delays mean their arrivals all start to coincide, and at just the point that rival newsman Jerry Lewis blackmails his way into staying at his apartment. You can write the plot developments yourself from there as Curtis tries to juggle the girls from one room to another and Lewis tries to move in on his territory, but considering how difficult it is to transfer farce to the big screen even when you're not translating it to another language it's fairly well executed of its kind even if it isn't a laugh a minute. This time it's Lewis who underplays, breaking with his usual screen persona in his last Paramount film to play a smoother operator while Curtis gets increasingly flustered and the girls (Dany Saval, Suzanna Leigh and Christiane Schmidtmer) play up to their national stereotypes, which isn't particularly offensive here since everyone in the film is a stereotype. It's the sort of thing you'd describe as a soufflé if it weren't for one of the girlfriends insisting that "soufflés are for people mitout teeth!" - not particularly nutritious, but pleasing enough if you're in the right mood for it.
Added by Electrophorus Dragon
5 years ago on 7 February 2013 05:10

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