Monday, June 15, 2020

Comedy PTSD

I talked last week about comic judgment, which leads me to one of my most terrifying nights as a comedy writer. I still have a little PTSD so you’ll excuse me if the writing of this post seems a little stilted. I have to stop every few sentences and take a break.

It was 1982. I went to the Fox Village Theater to see this new movie, VICTOR VICTORIA. It was directed by Blake Edwards, a very nimble comedy director. Among his credits are the first few PINK PANTHER movies and THE GREAT RACE (starring Natalie Wood so I’ve seen it twenty times). VICTOR VICTORIA had a stellar cast. Julie Andrews (Mrs. Blake Edwards), James Garner, Robert Preston, even funnyman Alex Karras.

It’s a remake of a 1933 German film, and who knows more about funny than the Germans?

The theater was full, the audience was roaring, and I was having a panic attack.


Because I didn’t find the movie remotely funny.

Now normally you’d think, “So what? That’s what makes a horse race.”


It’s my JOB to know what is funny. It’s my JOB to know what makes an audience laugh. And if they’re roaring and knee slapping and I have no idea why, even with over twenty-years experience, then my career is over. I’m a musician who is suddenly tone deaf.

I looked up VICTOR VICTORIA on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics score: 97%, audience score: 86%. Vincent Canby in the New York Times said: “Victor/Victoria is so good, so exhilarating, that the only depressing thing about it is the suspicion that Mr. Edwards is going to have a terrible time trying to top it.”

You probably saw it and laughed your ass off.

Similar material and subject matter was explored in LA CAGE AUX FAUX and was released before VICTOR VICTORIA and I thought it was hilarious. And that was with subtitles! So it’s not that the subject matter is one I don’t find amusing. I loved BIRDCAGE, the American remake of LA CAGE AUX FAUX and even the musical.

I see VV pop up on TCM from time to time and wonder if I should take another look. Would another 38 years give me a different perspective? Might I finally see what everybody was laughing at. However, my fear is: what if I still don’t find it funny and have a repeat panic attack? So I’ve never seen it again.

Seriously, this movie occupied several sessions of therapy. If you’re a comedy writer and you start doubting your judgment, you’re in trouble.

So how did I shake it? Eventually I just said, they’re still paying me to do this. I must either know enough or am doing a good enough job fooling them. And I finally moved on.

But since then I can never go to horror movies.


slgc said...

Comedy is such a personal thing.

Think of what you have written about your plays - lines that slay one night get no reaction on the next, and vice versa. There is nothing in the world that checks every box for every person, and it's fine if you don't love something that other people do.

In the non-comedy arena, I still can't understand why the critics loved Roma so much. The piles of dog poop in the car park was a metaphor for the film itself, IMO....

VP81955 said...

By now you probably fully appreciate the genius of Ernst Lubitsch, whose spirit permeates this movie. I think it warrants a second chance.

BTW, if it's any solace to you, it appears you were right about the return of audiences to multi-cams...although we apparently should use the word in quotation marks. When I noted early Saturday, via Kristen Johnston's Twitter feed, that my favorite sitcom "Mom" was returning to production in August, she wrote in response to an inquiry audiences would not be invited to filmings. However, that apparently doesn't mean "Mom" and other multi-cams will film before an empty stage.

Instead, new guidelines, according to Variety, state that for the time being, "paid staff" can serve as audience members on sitcoms or talk shows, but they must sit six feet apart and be limited to 25% of the audience space. Moreover, "the same group of employees should be used as the audience throughout the production." (Wonder whether Chuck Lorre might hire me to drop by Stage 20 at Warners two or three Fridays a month, just to sit in the "crowd"?)

At least you wouldn't have a repeat of your famed story of Asian tourists, unaccustomed to North American comedy, winding up in the crowd of your next series and not getting any of your writers' jokes.

TimWarp said...

FWIW, I never got V/V. And La Cage Aux Folles is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Unkystan said...

OMG! I thought it was only me. Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston! But the movie always made me cringe. Where’s the humor? I thought Julie was miscast. She pulls off a wig...short hair...SHE’S A MAN! No...she’s Julie Andrews. Should have cast an unknown and I might have bought it. Thank goodness for Preston.

Steve Bailey said...

I had the opposite experience of yours. I thought VICTOR/VICTORIA was superb, and I couldn't stand THE BIRDCAGE (I thought Robin Williams was too sullen in it). I don't think your experience is worth having PTSD over, though. Comedy is so subjective. I've been a Laurel & Hardy fan since I was a kid, and my late wife couldn't stand them. Different strokes for different folks.

marka said...

Friday Question (that's sort of related to this, sorta):

We watch shows where we see the joke coming from the first moment. We watch shows where we know how it's going to end two minutes in. We all have, I know.

But why? Is it laziness on the part of the writers? Is it ignorance on their part, do they think they're writing great stuff? Is the head writer just wanting to get to the track so if enough words are on the script then he's outta here? Do none of them care? What about the directors or actors, do they not have a voice in this, or can't many of them see it either?

And yet some are surprised and others laugh riotously, I guess.

Ken Copper said...

Boring, boring, boring! I'm stunned that the Rotten Tomatoes numbers were that good. I never laughed once. It was like one long dental appointment.

blogward said...

You direct a musical comedy starring your wife impersonating a male drag artist. The stuff of nightmares, not comedy!

Craig Gustafson said...

I love a lot of "Victor Victoria," but not all of it.

1. Anachronisms - I'm pretty sure "gay" didn't refer to homosexuals until the 1960s. The *nicest* word Garner or Karras would have used was "queer."

2. I'm a Broadway fan. Edwards had a reasonably charming duet for Broadway giants Robert Preston & Julie Andrews, and he *didn't let them finish it*. But he had Andrews sing that drippy ballad two or three times. Drove me up a wall.

3. Edwards was brilliantly creative at comedy routines. He couldn't pace a movie to save his life. "Victor Victoria" runs about two hours and fifteen minutes. That's 45 minutes he could have dropped. Yes, road shows were popular in the 1960s, but "The Great Race" takes 40 minutes to start the race. However it has "Leslie escaped with a chicken?!" and Natalie Wood in wet underwear, so I still love it. Even my favorite Edwards film, "S.O.B." runs around 2:01, which is the soul of brevity for Edwards - and it still meanders at times.

As far as your reaction of "What the fuck...?" on an audience favorite, you're in good company: “Jack Nicholson doesn't like the trend he sees developing in Hollywood. In fact, 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' left him at a loss. 'Well, that movie made me feel totally irrelevant to anything that any audience could want and 119 years old,' he said in a New York Times interview. 'Believe me, everyone else watching it liked it. And you know, I literally walked out of there thinking my days are numbered. These people are trying to kill me.'”

It was shortly after this he signed to do “Batman.”

Mike Martin said...

My wife and I had kind of an opposite reaction to a movie.
We went to see Psycho 2, which came out in 1983, 23 years after the original.
We were expecting a tense thriller like the original, but as we were watching we found ourselves laughing and decided that they had decided to go a different direction with the movie.
But then, we noticed that all the other movie patrons seemed to be enthralled in a thriller. So we just looked at each other and shrugged and held back our laughter, because we still thought we were watching a comedy.

benson said...

I completely understand your feelings. I have the same feelings about one of your favorite movies, Arthur. Did not get it, did not like it, and don't think I laughed more than once, and I'm being generous.

But that's what make the world go round. Some people love Cheers and Frasier, and some love Two Broke Girls.

Mike Doran said...

This was my reaction to Victor Victoria in 1982 (I was 31 at the time, for what it's worth):
It was the kind of comedy where I was thinking, "Hey, this is probably supposed to be funny!"
But I wasn't really laughing - not out loud, anyway.

Look at the totality of Blake Edwards's career: the definition of hit-and-miss.
Throw everything at the wall - whatever works, works, and if something doesn't work, maybe the next gag will carry the show.
Blake Edwards was never a "critic's darling"; as many of his pictures got heavy pans as raves, and not always from the same critics.
I don't recall that Pauline Kael was an Edwards partisan, but she raved about VV, singling out the performance of 'Sherloque Tanney' as the hotel detective.
That caught my notice: this was about the time when I learned about Dr. Herbert Tanney, Edwards's family physician, to whom he gave brief parts in most of his later movies, with joke billing in the cast lists (something I'm sure that Kael didn't know).
The point here (I think) is this: were we supposed to notice this?
Or … what?
With some movies, it might be possible to know too much going in - and as a professional, Ken might be in a tougher position than we civilians here in the audience.
Anyway, that's my theory - which may be wrong, but there you are …

PolyWogg said...

I'm an analyst by nature and trade, and I have had a somewhat related thought regularly about sitcoms in general.

I accept that some are written for a different demographic and so I might not find things funny if I'm not in that age range, ethnic group, IQ level, whatever. I have mentioned previously that I watch all the new shows every September and guess whether they'll get renewed. I am a terrible judge of sitcoms.

I used to watch Cheers, not religiously. MASH, sure. Happy Days when I was young. I watched for the stories, not necessarily the "laughs". Frasier, but not religiously. Wings occasionally. They would make my weekly play list but if I missed one, no big deal. Friends, Seinfeld. But none of them were must-see TV for me.

And every fall I watch, see new episodes where I go through the whole episode, the characters are watchable, but I don't laugh once, and while I am not grimacing at a pile of doodoo, I'm barely even smiling. I put it in the "watchable" category, but not something I would make effort to find. And yet each fall, many of them still find a home. Some with critical acclaim, or shows you yourself like and reference. Or many of the people in the comments.

And it makes me wonder...are there "categories" of sitcoms that work for me while others don't? Johnny Carson used to DIE on stage during his monologue regularly, but then he would start mocking his own death, and suddenly it WORKED, with call backs. He could make me laugh even when what he was saying was, on paper, simply not funny. Yet I love stand up, and maybe that's the genre that's mine. I don't like the lead ups in some sitcoms to obvious jokes as I can see them coming a mile away?

But then I lose all credibility. I loved the Big Bang Theory. Maybe cuz I am an analytical introvert like the Sheldon character. In my younger years, I was probably closer to Raj or Howard even. Yet I liked the style, even when it wasn't about those characters. I just liked the way the Penny and Leonard story went. Yet most sitcom lovers and writers thought it was a terrible show and the death of comedy. I don't know why, but I love it and hate the rest.

Is it a genre thing? Style of delivery? Or maybe because so many shows rely on really dumb characters for the laugh? Like everyone was Woody or Coach in a Diane world.

And is that a way to why you think Volunteers is good but V/V is crap?

Maybe that could be a whole series of posts some time...Ken's Introduction to the different kinds of comedy?


MHSweb79 said...

I was in college when that movie came out. I didn’t get it either. Didn’t buy Julie Andrews and didn’t find it funny. Maybe I’ll go to Rotten Tomatoes and try to even out the score.

Barry Traylor said...

Sorry Ken, but I love this film.

scottmc said...

Your post brought back a lot of memories. I saw Victor/Victoria with a friend while in college. It is one of the half dozen movies which we saw together.(Das Boot and A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy were two of the others.) The restaurant scene with the cockroach still makes me cringe with its absence of humor. I saw it more as a musical than a comedy. (Julie Andrews was on TCM recently and spoke about V/V. She even had reservations before filming began.) I appreciate it and smile when I remember the Henry Mancini music, Robert Preston's performance and the person I saw it with.

Joel Strewth said...

And sometimes audiences can be stupid. I remember I once paid to see Vampires Suck, the so-called "parody" of Twilight from cinematic antichrists Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, only because I wanted to see how movie audiences would actually react to their shit. I already had an opinion of Seltzerberg's oeuvre - I had seen and hated Epic Movie at this point - and it didn't seem the least bit surprising to me that the audience I saw it with was enjoying it. Needless to say, I walked out (after a half-hour), got my money back, and told the ticket-taker that people were dumb enough to enjoy this (which she concurred with).

As for your V/V experience, Ken, I can only say this: if this were The Simpsons, you would've been called out for your reaction to the film. (Happened to Homer after he had that crayon removed from his brain, when he didn't laugh at a Julia Roberts comedy.)

CJMiller said...

That's how I feel about Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I remember sitting through it when it first came out and not laughing once, and a couple viewings on television since only reinforce that opinion. I do enjoy trying to place the 1960's locations, and Barrie Chase in her bikini is worth sticking around for, but the rest of it just a mess of hammy overacting and mugging for the camera.

tb said...

I was a fan of the early Woody Allen comedies, would always go whenever a new one came out. Then came...that black and white one, was it Stardust Memories? Something like that. Oh my God, after an hour of zero laughs, I gave up and walked out

thirteen said...

I saw V/V in first-run in a theater while I was getting my bachelor's at night; it was a class assignment. I thought it was okay. I remember liking the "Le Jazz Hot" number very much.

I saw Animal House in first-run in a theater toward the end of a four-month-long unemployment bout. I never laughed so hard in my life.

Todd Everett said...

Blogger CJMiller said...
That's how I feel about Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I remember sitting through it when it first came out and not laughing once, and a couple viewings on television since only reinforce that opinion. I do enjoy trying to place the 1960's locations, and Barrie Chase in her bikini is worth sticking around for, but the rest of it just a mess of hammy overacting and mugging for the camera.

So you aren’t buying into Stanley Kramer as a great comedy director?

Pat Reeder said...

I'm also a comedy writer, and I love "Victor/Victoria," but there are other critics' darling comedies that left me as stone-faced as Buster Keaton. "Heaven Can Wait" was one of the few times when I've actually fallen asleep in the theater. "Shampoo" was described as the most brilliant satire of its decade; for me, it was like watching paint dry (maybe I just don't like Warren Beatty?) Bill Murray was the only thing that made me laugh in "Tootsie" (admittedly, it pissed me off right up front when Hoffman said, "I'll even do radio voiceovers," as if my industry was beneath him.) "Mad, Mad World" just tires me out; it set the template followed by Spielberg in "1941" that if a pie in the face is funny, a giant pie hurled into a really big face is ten times funnier. "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" was hailed as the funniest movie of the year. I laughed one time, at the throwaway gag of the homeless guys singing "We are the bums..." in a parody of "We Are the World." My rule of thumb is that when a comedy devolves into everyone jumping into a swimming pool with evening clothes on, it's the creative equivalent of waving the white flag of surrender. And the only thing I liked about "There's Something About Mary" was Jonathan Richman. But to itch his own...

tavm said...

Last night, I and my mom watched The First Wives Club on Amazon Prime Video for the first time. She laughed quite a bit. Me, not so much as I thought some of the scenes were too broad. I can't tell if this is a man/woman thing or maybe I would have laughed at it with other audiences in a movie theatre like I did when watching Airplane!..

Michael said...

The one thing I will say for Mad, Mad World is something that didn't happen: Stanley Kramer offered a substantial amount of money to Stan Laurel to do a cameo. Laurel wasn't rich but he turned it down because he wanted people to remember him as he was--by then he was white-haired. So I honor Kramer for making the offer. Otherwise, the movie proceeds on the premise that big names must be funny by dint of being big names.

But to the point. Laurel used to say that you can't analyze what's funny, because it varies from person to person. Another way to look at it comes closer to Ken himself: there are lines on shows for which he wrote that do not read in the least bit funny, but they come from the character--if Frasier says a certain thing, it's funny; if said by Niles, maybe not. And that goes to a Chuck Jones theory that you have to like the lead character, so he disliked Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which critics loved. He didn't like it because he didn't find the main characters likable.

-bee said...

I still remember going to see this movie in a very crowded theater when it opened and the strange, alienating feeling of everybody around me laughing uproariously except me.

Had the same experience with Home Alone.

It reminds me in reverse of an old Adams Family cartoon where everybody is crying in a movie theater except Uncle Fester who has a big smile on his face.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I actually loved VICTOR/VICTORIA. Have it on DVD. You do have to work some to suspend disbelief, but nonetheless.

I think the other movie you mean, however, is LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (faux = false; folles = follies or games, or thereabouts). I enjoyed that, too, when I saw it (subtitled), but I have much less desire to see it again.


-bee said...

Poly Wogg:

As a big Pauline Kael aficianado, saying she 'raved' about V/V didn't seem right so I went and found an excerpt of her review...

"The picture is at its yeastiest in the slapstick embellishments of the preparatory sequences; when the infuriatingly sane and distant Julie Andrews finally gets into men's clothes, there's nothing remotely funny about it....

"...Edwards pulls laughs, though. He does it with the crudest setups and the moldiest, most cynical dumb jokes...."

"you feel her sweetness (Lesley Ann Warren) , but Edwards ties tin cans to her tail--he makes her into a nasty, screeching floozy. This picture features speeches about sexual politics that are the latest in show-biz enlightenment; it also features a chorus line, headed by Lesley Ann Warren, that may be the most contemptuous display of women's bodies ever seen in a major-studio movie...."

She had nice things to say about Robert Preston and to a lesser extent James Garner but I'd say overall the review is a pan.

(pulled these quotes from following site but warning, it seems very 'virus-y'....

Mike Doran said...

That wasn't PolyWogg who made the Kael error - it was Mike Doran (i.e., me).
So in the name of honesty and honor, I acknowledge my error, here and now.
Sorry about that …
(Was I wrong about 'Sherloque Tanney' as well?)

Troy McClure said...

The Oscars have been pushed back by two months to April 25.

sanford said...

Pat Reeder. I love Heaven Can Wait. More of comedy than Here Comes Mr Jordan which wasn't a comedy. I love that one too. Heaven Can Wait is a remote drop for me if I see it on. I have a few other movies like that. Heaven can Wait got an 89 per cent score from critics and only 68 from the audience. There were only 31 reviews and only 37 for Victoria Victoria. Guess there weren't as many critics back then.

Jay Thurber said...

I feel the same way every time someone tells me how great Robert Altman's films are. I find them very hit-or-miss — mostly miss — especially his later films.

Just the other night, a cinematographer friend was telling me about the great experience she had working with "Bob" and I kept biting my tongue, thinking "don't say you don't get Robert Altman, she'll think you're a shmuck."

Fleed Bag said...

I recently felt out of sync with the entire industry that heaped its awards on its darling, Fleabag. Finally caught it and only lasted to the very beginning of episode two. Found the relentless asides to the camera and attitude of the main character obnoxious, not to mention the crudity at the top mere moments into episode one.

Pat Reeder said...

To Jay Thurber: I second your bafflement over Altman's popularity. His movies always feel to me as if they shot the treatments. I especially didn't get the praise heaped on "Nashville." Having gotten started in country radio, I thought that only New York critics could think that he had in any way understood or captured the music or culture of people who work in country music. It's no accident that the only hit off the soundtrack of all those songs that allegedly captured Nashville so well was "I'm Easy," a whiny L.A. singer-songwriter A/C track.

So as not to be completely negative on this thread, I'll ask: are you related to James Thurber? He's my favorite writer of all time.

Jay Thurber said...

Pat Reeder: No! But it's how I chose my DJ air name, because he's my favorite of all time, too. And a few months ago, I had a curator of a Thurber exhibit on my show:

Sami said...

I don't find Seinfeld (tv show) funny. I just don't. So I understand what it's like to be the cheese standing alone.

Unknown said...

Gay as a synonym for homosexual came out of theater culture and probably dates as far back as the 1920s or further there. It didn't become widely known and used until the 1960s.

For me, the humor of V/V is related to the skill of the actors. It's a slow, disjointed, sometimes hard-to-believe, quiet ramble with some old friends doing silly stuff in front of the cameras and doing it better than the material may have deserved. I enjoyed the film but did not laugh out loud much and Karras got most of those laughs. I don't think it's a writer's movie.

Andrew said...

"Das Boot and A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy were two of the others."

That juxtaposition made me laugh more than all of V/V. It's as if Das Boot had a sequel.

I didn't find V/V remotely funny, but I wonder if it's warm acceptance and high popularity is a form of overcompensating. Julie Andrews was the good girl of musicals, so it was as if the audience wanted her to pull off being cast against type successfully.

Birdcage had its moments, but I felt like I was being lectured. The parents were two dimensional caricatures, and were there only to be mocked.

Andrew said...

@Pat Reeder,
Did you see the recent Ken Burns documentary on country music? It was heaven on earth, and I'm not usually a country fan.

If you are ever in Columbus, Ohio, make sure to visit the Thurber House (if you haven't already).

Jeff Alexander said...

I know that I am a day late in weighing in on this -- I meant to at the time and just plain forgot.
I have to go on record as saying I LOVE Victor/Victoria because it is a farce, one where you suspend belief. I don't know how many times I've seen it now, and, ironically, that includes this past Sunday where I suddenly found myself in the mood for it -- just like with a lot of people who want to hear a certain song again.
As for the movie itself, I don't buy Julie Andrews' posing as a man and getting away with it because somehow that seems to be part of the fun.
Hilarious -- yes, to me, it is in parts. But the true joy is in watching the very assured Robert Preston, who managed to bring a sense of joy to all his performances which I've seen, sing and dance as Carole Todd. He and Julie Andrews play well off each other especially in the You & Me number.
James Garner is his laconic, sardonic self and very relaxed as King Marchand. Lesley Warren is a delight, although she might be a little too screechy at times.
But if you don't find it funny, that's OK. Comedy is very, very subject and I wouldn't suffer from PTSD from it. People have told me, for instance, that This Is Spinal Tap is one of the great comedy films. When I did see it on HBO years ago, I sat through the entire movie without laughing once. Maybe it is me, I really don't know. I'd have to watch it again to be sure.
There are people who fall over laughing at Abbott & Costello, yet remain totally mute on W.C. Fields. I know of people who are indifferent to "Some Like It Hot," yet think that Jerry Lewis was a comedy king.
To coin a cliche', to each his own!

Michael said...

I thought VV was simply awful when I saw it as a teenager. I saw it again in my late 20s or early 30s. It remained awful.

Everybody looks like they are having the worst time of their lives. The jokes sound flat. The premise was creaky.

The concept has been done to death.

I can hear the pitch "It Some Like It Hot but with a woman playing the man!"

"A-Ha! I love it! So zany. So original. Here is a pile of money that I was going to light on fire. Take it. Make your brilliant masterpiece."

Dixon Steele said...

Really loved VV when it came out. Never saw the Broadway version, which was mostly panned.

Perspective is important. I loved ARTHUR, but remember Liz Smith really hated it. Alcoholism ran in her family and she didn't find anything funny about it.

blogward said...

Apologies for posting again but I'd just like Ken to know that (early) Frasier had me grinning all the way through, every week. And I'm miserable as sin.

D McEwan said...

There is much that I like about V/V, such as all things Robert Preston, and Alex Karras playing gay (When I was in college, I lived down the block from Karras, and had to drive past his house every time I went anywhere or returned from anywhere), and some of the songs. Julie, of course, could never be taken for a man for even one second.

But no one has mentioned what bothered me the most in the movie. The big moment in the movie is Garner's, "I don't care if you're a man," and his then kissing her. She says, "I'm not a man," (duh), and he says, I still don't care," and kisses her again. The audience applauds.

The thing is, we KNOW Garner knows she's a woman already, since we saw the skin-crawly scene where he hides in her bathroom and watches her take a bath. (Ew!) His line "I don't care if you're a man" would be a BIG moment only IF HE DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW SHE WAS A WOMAN! Saying that when he knows she's not a man is pointless. It certainly does not represent any personal growth on Garner's character, and there's no reason to applaud.

"Craig Gustafson said...
I love a lot of "Victor Victoria," but not all of it.

1. Anachronisms - I'm pretty sure "gay" didn't refer to homosexuals until the 1960s. The *nicest* word Garner or Karras would have used was "queer.""

"Pretty sure" does not cover it when pulling facts out of no where. A Mirriam-Webster's dictionary of prison slang from 1935 includes "Gay" as meaning "a homosexual male." To have made it into a dictionary by 1935, it had to have been in use earlier than that, so the use of "Gay" in the 1920s is perfectly kosher. The use of "pretty sure" to pass off wrong information as a "fact" is not.

mike schlesinger said...

Here's the problem. V/V isn't by and large a bellylaugh comedy; it's more of a smile/chuckle comedy. I loved it when it came out, still do, and enjoyed the Broadway version as well. But I fully understand that not everyone reacts the same way to every film. Indeed, it's come to my attention that there are some people who don't like "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," to which I can only shake my head in abject pity.

Stu R said...

Sorry...late to the game as I am catching up. I did not care for Victor Victoria either. Great cast but it just wasn't good to me. Around the same time, Blake Edwards released SOB. I freaking love this movie but it paled to VV with everyone else. Robert Preston alone made it great. So many great lines and Sinatra music. So its all personal preference and SOB is in my all time top there.

Dave Samuelson said...

Frankly, I've never been amused by any Blake Edwards comedies -- even those with Peter Sellers. That said, I adore his Peter Gunn NBC-TV series.