ALL IN A NIGHT'S WORK
US, 1961, 94 minutes, Colour.
Shirley Mac Laine, Dean Martin, Cliff Robertson, Charles Ruggles, Jerome Cowan, Norma Crane, Jack Weston.
Directed by Joseph Anthony.
All In A Night's Work is a frothy blend of sophisticated comedy and farce. Originally based on a play and adapted by, amongst others, Sidney Sheldon, the film is a star vehicle for Dean Martin and Shirley Mac Laine (who had appeared in Some Came Running, Career). Direction is by Joseph Anthony, a regular at Paramount in the late '50s early '60s (The Matchmaker).
The strength of the film is in some witty writing and a strong supporting cast. There is a musical score by Andre Previn. The insight into big business, sex scandal and romance is a perennial theme of American films, Shirley Mac Laine was in the Oscar-winning The Apartment which focused on these themes with a more trenchant wit in 1960.
1. A pleasing blend of comedy, romantic farce?
2. The style of the '60s? The stars and their popularity? Glossy production values: colour, pace? The music of Andre Previn?
3. How evident that the film was based on a play: situations, contrivance, characters? Wit and verbal comedy? The credibility of the situations: appearances versus reality, scandal, business, cover ups? Control? Misunderstandings and happy endings?
4. Shirley Mac Laine's verve and style as Katie? The focus of the film? The compromising situation, her innocence, lack of clarity, appearances and impressions?
5. Romance with Tony? The test? Katie in a variety of comic situations? Board meetings, discussions, family meetings? Interaction with Tony and ultimate happy resolution?
6. Tony and Dean Martin's laid back romantic style? Love, misunderstandings, pressure, business? His chasing Katie and winning her?
7. Warren Kingsley, Warren Kingsley Jr and the skills of Charlie Ruggles and Cliff Robertson? The other man? Business?
The variety of characters and their comic and serious contributions? American character actors and actresses?
9. The film as a piece of Americana, reputations, business, success, love, sexuality?