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The Fortune

This starts promisingly as a sardonic comedy about an absurd ménage-à-trois, the mechanics of sex in the '20s, and the men's bewilderment about matters female. Beatty and Nicholson, as the sleazy lounge lizard and halfwit accomplice who conspire to run away with an heiress, send up their own images as though indulging a private joke, but still manage a couple of delirious moments. Their flight west (incognito, but with Nicholson constantly drawing attention to them) throws away its gags shamelessly, but once in California lethargy settles in. The film becomes almost static, a series of stagy, glossy tableaux: such lack of momentum may be an adequate assessment of the characters' limited capacity for development, but it has a disastrous effect on the film's pacing. Events degenerate into miscalculated farce and underline Nichols' continuing slick superficiality. Adrien Joyce's much hacked-about script sounds as though it was once excellent: a pity everyone treats it so off-handedly.

Release details

Duration: 88 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mike Nichols
Screenwriter: Adrien Joyce Carole Eastman
Cast: Jack Nicholson
Warren Beatty
Stockard Channing
Florence Stanley
Richard B Shull
Tom Newman
Scatman Crothers
Dub Taylor

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

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