Drawing heavily on Martin's offscreen persona, this sees him as an arrogant, sex-crazed crooner stranded in a remote Californian town and feigning interest in the songs of amateur composer Walston in return for the sexual favours of the latter's wife (Farr). Anticipating this, the desperately ambitious but possessively jealous Walston has in fact substituted a local tart-with-a-heart (Novak) for his wife; but his wife, meanwhile...Wilder's vulgar satire on greed, lust and sexual game-playing was decried as tasteless upon release; the effect is less outrageous now, but the epithet stands, particularly in the light of feminist awareness. Characteristically cynical, clever and brash, it's helped out enormously by the performances of Martin, Farr and (particularly) Novak as Polly the Pistol, but for all its ambitions it isn't really all that funny.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||IAL Diamond, Billy Wilder|