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Rick’s Actual/Reel Life: “40 Carats” 1973


 

Liv Ullman & Edward Albert within the 1973 romantic comedy “40 Carats.”

The frothy comedy 40 Carats is a kind of ‘70s films
that strives for sensible and progressive, however is uneasily combined with romantic
cleaning soap suds.

New Yorker Ann Stanley is on
trip in Greece when her automobile breaks down within the countryside. Younger and
good-looking Peter Latham involves her rescue on his bike. He’s instantly
attracted, she’s extra inhibited. However the beautiful Greece seashore surroundings, plus some
Ouzo, permits them each to drop their defenses, together with their garments. What
occurs in Greece stays in Greece, proper? Again in NYC at her upscale realtor
job, Ann immediately meets Peter once more by way of her daughter, Trina. Ann is
mortified, however Peter needs to choose up the place they left off.

Beautiful couple Liv Ullman & Edward Albert in a romantic second, “40 Carats.”


Not precisely hard-hitting
stuff, however 40 Carats is evenly entertaining
and surprisingly optimistic towards the Could-December romance. And it’s nonetheless
reasonably entertaining regardless of one large drawback.

Norwegian Liv Ullman was Hollywood’s “It” actress from 1972-74,
seemingly cast–and miscast–in all the pieces, together with “40 Carats.”


It’s inconceivable for me to
watch a movie about romance the place age is the title issue and never decide the
stars’ respective ages.

Norwegian star Liv Ullman wowed Hollywood along with her
international movie work within the early ’70s. So, the studios sought to mould her right into a
Nordic star in North America, alongside the traces of Garbo and Ingrid Bergman. There
have been so few roles for actresses on the time, that Hollywood
shoe-horned Liv into all the pieces, together with the Broadway comedy adaptation
of 40 Carats. With so many 40-ish
actresses on the time for whom this position might have been good, they forged
34-year-old Liv as a lady of 40, who finds love with a 22-year-old man. What undercuts
the premise, together with Liv Ullman’s fresh-faced appears, is her heavy accent and
complete lack of comedic timing for this feather-weight romantic comedy. Additional
emphasizing Liv’s youth is casting Gene Kelly as her ex-husband. Gene was nonetheless
a horny, energetic man, however standing in scene with Ullman, her comfortable appears
towards his 60- year-old self, with Kelly’s apparent toupee, can have viewers
scratching their heads. At practically 70, Binnie Barnes is an brisk hoot as
Liv’s mom. Within the scene the place Binnie and Gene disco dance, they appear to be a
senior couple having a blast. 40-ish Billy Inexperienced Bush is the 42-year-old twangy
tycoon who needs to marry 17-year-old daughter of Liv, performed by then-20 Deborah
Raffin. And Edward Albert adopted up his success in Butterflies Are Free with 40
Carats
. At 22, Edward is attractive and fairly good in his position—as a
22-year-old. Think about that!

Emphasizing Liv’s youth was casting 60-year-old Gene Kelly as her ex, who appears like
the easy-chair loving dad on TV’s “Frasier!”


Other than Ullman’s
Ann Stanley at all times hedging on her age, there are the throwaway traces to elucidate
the assorted accents and ages. In contrast to the play’s unique Ann, the film heroine
left Norway at younger age, the place her father hailed from. Who then moved to
America along with his British bride,
performed by Brit Binnie Barnes. Bought that? And Billy Inexperienced Bush’s Alabama drawl was
utilized for his character. And there are some traces that trace that Gene
Kelly’s Billy could also be a bit older than
Ullman’s Ann Stanley. Sure, like 26 years older!

Julie Harris obtained to go glam on Broadway & gained a Tony for the smash “40 Carats!”


40 Carats was based mostly on a smash Broadway play that ran for 2 years and
gained a Tony for main woman Julie Harris, who obtained to be glamorous for a change.
How might Hollywood mess up a no brainer like this? Plenty of 40-ish
Hollywood divas have been thought of, however apparently considered previous their
box-office prime: Audrey Hepburn was a professional at stylish comedy; Joanne Woodward
had the everywoman contact; Shirley MacLaine would have dealt with the comedic
scenes with sass; Elizabeth Taylor performed a a lot older lady who has plastic
surgical procedure in Ash Wednesday throughout this
time and regarded sensational. Better of all might need been Lee Remick at 38, who
regarded like a Hollywood model of Ullman with these huge blue eyes. However
Columbia thought they have been taking part in it secure with Liv Ullman, miscast the film,
and the Broadway hit grew to become a Hollywood flop.

Although their romance is at instances on skinny ice, the “40 Carats” romantic duo prevail.


Sadly for Ms. Ullman,
Liv’s Hollywood bombs shortly torpedoed her US profession. Casting Liv in a
Broadway hit that tanked was dangerous sufficient, however Saint Joan, The Abdication,
and Zandy’s Bride shortly sunk, too.
All this paled compared to Ross Hunter’s hilariously cheesy musical remake
of Misplaced Horizon. This camp basic shortly
joined different such career-enders as Mame,
At Lengthy Final Love and Can’t Cease the Music. Really, Ross
Hunter ought to have produced 40 Carats,
this shiny and glam mild comedy would have been proper up his alley!

Edward Albert & Liv Ullman meet cute in Greece, in “40 Carats.”


Not that Liv Ullman is
horrible as Ann Stanley in 40 Carats—she’s
a naturally empathetic actress—however the international star of heavy dramas is simply terribly
uncomfortable and miscast. Gene Kelly as Billy Boylan, Liv’s “barely” older
ex is a bit a lot, however he is aware of any such materials just like the again of his hand,
as does Binnie Barnes as mom Maud, and Nancy Walker as Liv’s secretary, and
Natalie Schaefer because the annoying shopper.

Deborah Raffin knew her manner round a pool desk and lightweight comedy in “40 Carats.”


Notice how good Deborah
Raffin was taking part in pool, and he or she brings some sport to breezy comedy, too. Raffin
and Barnes have a very good comedian rapport as Trina, the trendy younger New York
daughter and her with-it grandmother. Binnie Barnes neither appears nor acts her
age and virtually steals the film.

Binnie Barnes is one hip grannie in “40 Carats,” w/Edward Albert & Deborah Raffin.


Edward Albert’s
character Peter comes on a bit robust, however that’s from the script’s clumsy
try and make his character appear to be a “no hang-ups” younger man. Albert’s
pure sensitivity makes up for the often overbearing script factors.
However all’s forgiven within the closing scene, the place Albert pulls up on his
bike, and finds Ullman ready for him. Peter scrutinizes Ann, scowling
barely after which breaks out in a smile that will soften an iceberg.

Edward Albert, adoring and lovable, on the finale of “40 Carats.”


Don Porter and
Rosemary Murphy play Albert’s rich mother and father. Each are expert actors, however
Porter particularly comes off absurd, because the heavy who retains referring to
Ullman’s Ann as of “their era.” Porter was frankly 60 and and Murphy
pushing 50, so that is one in all many cases the place Ullman’s precise age
undermines her character and efficiency.

No, Liv Ullman is not laughing as a result of Don Porter as her younger beau’s father,
retains referring to her character as of “their era!” With Rosemary Murphy.


I do know a few of my
family and friends suppose I do know an excessive amount of film trivia, however this blew my thoughts:
M.J. Frankovich, an enormous producer in ‘60s and ‘70s Hollywood, was the adopted son
of Joe E. Lewis! AND he was additionally married to Binnie Barnes. I had no concept! I
discovered Frankovich fairly fascinating as he produced many attractive comedies within the
late ‘60s and early ‘70s: Bob & Carol
& Ted & Alice
; Cactus Flower,
Butterflies are Free, There’s a Lady in My Soup; and 40 Carats.  The producer additionally made a pair unintentional
comedies: The Love Machine and Docs’ Wives.

“40 Carats” in a nutshell!


Jay Presson Allen
wrote the American adaptation from the French play for the Broadway model of 40 Carats. Leonard Gershe, a very long time
sitcom comedy author, who additionally wrote Butterflies
are Free
, wrote the screenplay for 40
Carats
.

Milton Katselas, a
Broadway, movie, and TV director, began off as an performing coach. His first
directing gig was Edward Albee’s off-Broadway sensation The Zoo Story. Milton additionally directed the Broadway and film model
of Butterflies are Free. He directed
Bette Davis in her Emmy-winning comeback, Strangers:
The Story of a Mom and Daughter
. He later directed Burton and Taylor in
their notorious Non-public Lives manufacturing.

Binnie Barnes & Gene Kelly boogie down and steal a scene in “40 Carats.”


40 Carats may be very 70s, however in a great way. The worst comes on the
starting, with a sappy ballad over the opening credit, by Michel Legrand and
Marilyn Bergman. Fortunately, they wrote a very beautiful ballad that 12 months, The Manner We Have been, which gained them an
Oscar.

Jean Louis wardrobe
designs/alternatives are stylish and character acceptable. Besides Liv’s engulfing
fur hat—that comes off as very Lucy Ricardo-esque. The opening and shutting
Greece scenes are beautiful and the early ‘70s N.Y.C. scenes are evocative of the
period, too.

Liv’s Ann would not slot in at her younger boyfriend’s social gathering, and neither does her hat!

For a ‘70s movie, the place
there’s some characters which are shocked by Ann and Peter’s 18 12 months age
distinction, an equal variety of characters are okay with their romance. And Gene
Kelly’s ex-hubby provides a nifty little monologue about why numbers don’t matter
in the case of love. And Ann will get her joyful ending with Peter in spite of everything. That
was fairly progressive, for early ‘70s mainstream Hollywood!

Sadly, the 2 younger
stars of 40 Carats, Edward Albert and
Deborah Raffin, lovely to have a look at and charmingly well-cast, died younger.
Edward died of lung most cancers at age 55 on Sept. 22, 2006 and Deborah of leukemia
at 59 in 2012. 

This photograph is a giveaway that “40 Carats” got here from a stage comedy.

Edward Albert died at 55 in 2006, only a 12 months and a half after his 99-year-old father, Eddie Albert.

Right here’s a tribute to
Edward Albert, in his first starring position, Butterflies
are Free
:
https://ricksrealreel.blogspot.com/2021/02/edward-albert-forever-young-in.html

FYI: I put all of the film overflow on my public FB  film
web page. 

Test it out & be a part of!  https://www.fb.com/teams/178488909366865/

 



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