Generally reckoned to be Wilder's worst movie, as thick a slice of sachertorte as ever served - even Lubitsch would have thrown up. One of Wilder's favourite themes - the confrontation between New and Old World values - is given an early airing with Crosby's phonograph salesman washing up in a mythical mittel-European kingdom, where he sets about usurping Strauss with a clambake. Fontaine is a countess and there's a dodgy romance as well. There are acres of wasted space, yet occasionally this movie bursts into life, and the whole thing is tinged with a postwar nostalgia for a Europe that has been snuffed out. Oh yes, Wilder prefigured Antonioni by having the hills dyed a nicer shade of green.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder|