Saturday, December 19, 2009

Love In The Afternoon (1957)

IMDB Rating: 7.3
Runtime: 130
Language: English
Country: US
Color: B/W
IMDb Link:

Director: Billy Wilder

Gary Cooper ... Frank Flannagan
Audrey Hepburn ... Ariane Chavasse/Thin Girl
Maurice Chevalier ... Claude Chavasse
Van Doude ... Michel
John McGiver ... Monsieur X
Lise Bourdin ... Madame X
Bonifas ... Commissioner of Polilce (phoned by Ariane)

I'd almost forgotten why Gary Cooper is one of my all time favourite actors. Seeing him in this movie, reminded me just why that is!
He is incredible in this movie. Smooth as always. I've always loved how he talked and carried himself in his movies. How less is more when it comes to Mr.Cooper. He doesn't say much...but his silence and his face speaks volumes.
Audrey Hepburn is positively charming in this beautifully made movie! Isn't she always though?

The setting for his lovely film is beautiful Paris. You don't see much of Paris though. What you do see though, is exquisite!
It is a love is is everything that a good movie should be. Absolutely lovely!

Gary Cooper is Frank Flannagan, a relatively old, rich, successful tycoon with more money than you can fathom and more women in his life than you  hair on your head! (That is unless you're which case you can make your own analogy of with something that you have lots of.)
Audrey Hepburn is Ariane Chavasse or "Thin Girl" as Gary calls her most of the movie, because she refuses to tell him her name.
Audrey's father, Claude Chavasse (played by Maurice Chevalier), is a private detective who specializes in helping his clients find out stuff about their cheating spouses. The story begins when Claude returns home after successfully discovering that Frank is making out with the wife of one of his clients. Once he divulges this info to the perturbed husband, the man, obviously a man of great pride, decides that he shall shoot the man who is sullying his honour or his wife's to be precise.
Ariane hears about this and having gone through all of her father's files and knowing who Frank is decides to take it upon herself to save his life.
What unfolds is a delightfully funny part of the story which has some really brilliant scenes.
Well one thing leads to another and we see Ariane falling for the charming Mr.Flannagan.
Its not that easy though. She won't tell him who she is and he, the casanova, that he is, doesn't stick around for long...until, he begins to fall in love with her!!

I won't tell you the rest. Just take my word for it. This is a movie you HAVE to watch.
Without a doubt one of the nicest movies I have ever seen! :)

The dialogues are brilliant...humour without any effort. Here's an example.
Audrey Hepburn is making up stories about men she's been dating to Gary Cooper, whom she is obviously in love with. She doesn't want to tell him that or give him any idea about how she feels which is why she's weaving tales about imaginary people she's seeing. Here's what she says about one chap. :)
Frank Flannagan (Gary Cooper): What does he export and what does he import?
Ariane Chavasse (Audrey Hepburn): Oh, he uh - he exports perfume and imports bananas. There's a fortune in it. Do you realize that for one bottle of perfume you get twelve bananas?
Frank Flannagan: Twelve bananas for one bottle of - doesn't sound like such a hot deal to me.
Ariane Chavasse: It's a tiny bottle of perfume and very large bananas.

Here's another. You see Audrey Hepburn talking to a young man in this scene who loves her madly. She's telling him about Gary Cooper...
Ariane Chavasse: They're very odd people, you know. When they're young, they have their teeth straightened, their tonsils taken out and gallons of vitamins pumped into them. Something happens to their insides! They become immunized, mechanized, air-conditioned and hydromatic. I'm not even sure whether he has a heart.
Michel: What is he? A creature from outer space?
Ariane Chavasse: No. He's an American.

Here's something Gary Cooper says to Audrey Hepburn just before they kiss :)
Frank Flannagan: Everything about you is perfect.
Ariane Chavasse: I'm too thin! And my ears stick out, and my teeth are crooked and my neck's much too long.
Frank Flannagan: Maybe so, but I love the way it all hangs together. 

Oh there are hundred other lines that make you smile and laugh and just feel good about watching an absolutely delightful movie!

The Moviemania Rating: 9.8/10
Mr.Wilder, you've outdone yourself. For the brilliant visuals, effortless humour, the charm and the acting, I'll have to say that this is the best of your films I've seen so far. And I've got 21 more to see!
You make it tough to be a critic :)
Well when you've got films like his, who wants to criticize. I've got nothing but praise! :)


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