The Grass Is Greener (1960)

STANLEY DONEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

United Kingdom, 1960.  .  Screenplay by , , based on their play.  Cinematography by Christopher Challis.  Produced by Stanley Donen.  Music by , , .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .  

In this so-so romantic comedy, an old-money British couple (Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr) live in part of their stately aristocratic home while the rest of it has been turned into a museum for tourists. One day, an American oil baron (Robert Mitchum) wanders away from his tour, enters Kerr’s private chambers and surprises her with his charm. The two fall in love and begin a torrid affair in London, all the while Grant waits at home and chews the fat with Kerr’s terribly chatty friend Jean Simmons. The acting in this minor charmer is terrific, but the screenplay has no verve to it and Stanley Donen has no fun directing it; he and Grant made a much better artistic team three years later when they did Charade. Kerr is as lovely as ever in a very boring role, while Simmons is incredibly delightful in a complete turnaround from her usual prim and proper English ladies. She alone makes it worth checking out.

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Picture-Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Cary Grant)

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