Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1957. Allied Artists Productions, Billy Wilder Productions. Screenplay by Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond, based on the novel Ariane, Jeune Fille Russe by Claude Anet. Cinematography by William C. Mellor. Produced by Billy Wilder. Production Design by Alexandre Trauner. Costume Design by Jay A. Morley Jr.. Film Editing by Leonide Azar, Chester W. Schaeffer. Golden Globe Awards 1957.
For some odd reason, filmmakers were under the distinct impression that Audrey Hepburn liked to get it on with old men. Humphrey Bogart (Sabrina), Cary Grant (Charade), Fred Astaire (Funny Face) and Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady) were all long in the tooth when they got to have a crack at the (very) young lady, and Love In The Afternoon features probably the very worst example of them all. While Hepburn has been made to look her most girlish, Gary Cooper as her love interest looks like he’s about seven hundred and fifty years old. Thankfully, the only other old man in the film (Maurice Chevalier) plays her father and therefore can’t possibly want her for anything else (we hope), eliminating Cooper’s competition completely. Hepburn plays a young ingenue living in Paris whose detective father is hired to look into the shady love life of an American entrepreneuer (Cooper). During the course of the investigation, she becomes smitten with him (and still her father doesn’t mind that she’s dating a man older than him). A minor Billy Wilder classic, but beautiful to look at (except for all the wrinkles).