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The V.I.P.s (1963)

Director:
Anthony Asquith
COUNTRY
United Kingdom
GENRE
Drama/Comedy
NORWEGIAN TITLE
-
RUNNING TIME
119 minutes
Producer:
Anatole de Grunwald
Screenwriter:
Terence Rattigan


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Frances Andros Elizabeth Taylor
Paul Andros Richard Burton
Marc Champselle Louis Jordan
Gloria Gritti Elsa Martinelli
The Duchess of Brighton Margaret Rutherford
Miss Mead Maggie Smith
Les Mangrum Rod Taylor
Max Buda Orson Welles
Airport Director Michael Hordern

 

Review

This posh situational comedy finds a handful of characters weather-bound at a London airport, left to deal with their individual personal problems. Talky and stagey, the film is thoroughly amusing, but only rarely potent. The overfocusing on a not very vibrant triangle drama eventually kills off the spark (the Taylor/Burton situation here was allegedly based on an infamous Laurence Olivier/Vivien Leigh incident). Richard Burton brings some depth to his part, but the Taylor character operates with a very dubious motivaton, and assisted by Louis Jordan's uninspired performance, their platonic relationship remains completely without spark or passion.

Never known for being the most ambitious, British classicist director Anthony Asquith's main feat is getting some fine performances out of his co-stars. Margaret Rutherford is delightful in a tailor-made role, whereas Maggie Smith and Rod Taylor enjoy a handful of brilliant sequences in a highly interesting subplot. Orson Welles is amusing as an arrogant, condescending Yugoslav filmmaker.

Copyright 3.12.2006 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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