Saturday, January 03, 2009

1/3/09: Five Golden Hours (1961)

George Sanders Week continues with this con-man comedy cut from the same cloth as David Niven's Bedtime Story (later remade as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). 1950s TV star Ernie Kovacs stars as a professional pall-bearer in Rome who tries to bilk various widows out of money, and hilarity ensues. As The New York Times pointed out in their review, it's the sort of movie Alec Guinness made many times; the all-British cast (except for Kovacs, an American) do a very good job in this sometimes dark comedy. Cyd Charisse—whom I've never before seen in a movie—is extremely charming and beautiful as the widow Kovacs ill-advisedly falls in love with. Sanders himself doesn't show up until more than halfway through, but he's worth waiting for. This was his first movie following my beloved Village of the Damned from 1960. With Ernie Kovacs, Cyd Charisse and George Sanders. Rating: 4/5.

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