• U.S.

Cinema: May 3, 1963

9 minute read
TIME

Fiasco in Milan. This one takes up where Big Deal on Madonna Street leaves off, with Flubber-faced Comic Carlo Pisacane trying desperately to keep his tapeworm living in the style to which it has become accustomed. Vittorio Gassman and his Madonna Street gang wiggle through some funny scenes, but early-bird honors still go to Pisacane: he’s got the worm.

The Man from the Diners’ Club. Danny Kaye has got into the clutches of the Jerry Lewis people, and is forced to caper through a series of predictable sight gags with nary a line from Sylvia Fine to brighten the charade. An encounter with a Diners’ Club electronic brain is Danny’s best bit, but television’s Telly Savalas as a murderous mobster almost hijacks the show with his menacing geniality.

Landru. A colorful (and highly colored) documentary on France’s World War I Bluebeard who killed ten women for their money, Landru is the work of New Wave Pioneer Claude Chabrol and Past Mistress of Tristesse Francoise Sagan. Mile. Sagan’s script drips cynicism, but Chabrol’s provocative camera work and the archly stylized acting of the cast (Charles Denner, Danielle Darrieux, Michele Morgan) manage to make it worthwhile.

The Ugly American. Marlon Brando arrives in mythical South Sarkhan (or possibly South Viet Nam) to take over the embassy, and walks smack into a revolution triggered by his old wartime buddy, a native named Deong. As an ambassador, Brando looks like something out of an old Grace Moore movie, but he seems cut out for the job: his Sarkhanese is better than his English.

Bye Bye Birdie. This adolescent operetta loses a lot in translation from stage to screen. Ann-Margret, as the girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio, who gets involved with a mush-mouthed rock-‘n’-roller named Conrad Birdie, can’t fool anybody into believing that she is 16 years old. But then she doesn’t really try.

I Could Go On Singing. If much of this movie is like a collection of scenes from some as-yet-unproduced Judy Garland Story (she wrangles over the custody of a child, she twitches with distress, she Goes On with the Show), Judy is acting every minute. And Garland’s acting, unlike her singing, gets better and better.

Love Is a Ball. In this Riviera-based frappe, Hope Lange is an heiress who chases Chauffeur Glenn Ford. Charles Boyer adds a zestful touch of Gallic.

The Birds. Alfred Hitchcock hates birds and the Audubon Society hates Alfred Hitchcock.

TELEVISION

Wednesday, May

CBS Reports (CBS, 7:30-8:30 p.m.)* Walter Lippmann’s midyear report on the state of events, personalities and world forces.

Thursday, May 2

Premiere (ABC, 10-11 p.m.). Bradford Dillman, Diana Hyland and Robert Redford star in “The Voice of Charlie Pont,” the story of a Harvard graduate who becomes a bum. Repeat.

Friday, May 3

The Jack Paar Program (NBC, 10-11 p.m.). An evening of sickness & light, with guests Phyllis Diller, Alexander King and Gisele MacKenzie.

Saturday, May 4

The Kentucky Derby (CBS, 5-6 p.m.). The 89th running of the Churchill Downs classic.

The Defenders (CBS, 8:30-9:30 p.m.). A teen-age American Nazi is tried for murder; Dennis Hopper and Shepperd Strud-wick star. Repeat.

Saturday Night at the Movies (NBC, 9-11 p.m.). Night People, the story of counterintelligence at work in East Berlin, with Gregory Peck, Broderick Crawford and Rita Gam. Color.

Sunday, May 5

Look Up and Live (CBS, 10:30-11 a.m.). “Beyond the Sanctuary: Taize France,” a documentary about a Lutheran monastery whose brothers return to the lay world to work.

The Theater of Tomorrow (ABC, 2-3 p.m.). A special on The Repertory Company of Lincoln Center, narrated by Elia Kazan, featuring a scene from Arthur Miller’s new play After the Fall, performed by Jason Robards Jr.

The Twentieth Century (CBS, 6-6:30 p.m.). The courageous stand made by Malta during massive air attack in World War II. Repeat.

The Sunday Night Movie (ABC, 8-10 p.m.). Tiger Bay, with Horst Buchholz, John Mills and Hayley Mills.

DuPont Show of the Week (NBC, 10-11 p.m.). “Something to Hide,” a suspense drama starring Colleen Dewhurst and Henry Jones. Color.

Monday, May 6

David Brinkley’s Journal (NBC, 10-10:30 p.m.). Part one of a two-part report on Haiti. Color.

THEATER

On Broadway

Mother Courage, by Bertolt Brecht, follows the harsh fortunes of its shrewd heroine as she peddles belts and brandy to soldiers and loses her three children in the Thirty Years’ War. Astringent, ironic, mockingly antiheroic, the play is a black comedy with the purgative power of tragedy, although Anne Bancroft lacks something of the granitic authority that the central role demands.

Strange Interlude, by Eugene O’Neill. Time has added a comic flavor to this 4½hour Freudian opus. However, O’Neill’s innate theater sense saves all but the silliest lines, and the playing of Geraldine Page and her colleagues is a delight to behold.

Enter Laughing, by Joseph Stein. There is an improvisational air to this-play that lends freshness to a stalely familiar genre, the Jewish family comedy. As a youngster with a yen to act, Alan Arkin is rib-splittingly funny.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee. Rasping family squabbles are the scenes that U.S. playwrights handle best, and this savage-witted, nightlong bout of man and wife ranks with the best of the breed. Arthur Hill and Uta Hagen are the battlers.

Photo Finish, by Peter Ustinov, is an amiable piece of geriatrickery. Miming an 80-year-old, Ustinov has the dubious but distinct pleasure of meeting his bygone selves of 20, 40 and 60. The multi-aptituded Ustinov also meets himself as author and director.

Beyond the Fringe. Four wickedly clever young English sharpshooters riddle such sacred institutions as God, Shakespeare and Harold Macmillan. The wackiest loon of the lunatic lot is Dr. Jonathan Miller.

Off Broadway

To the Water Tower. The Second City troupe is unequaled among U.S. revue groups for its acting skill, imaginative verve, and satiric intrepidity. It lives up to its own reputation in this tart hit-and-run raid on Cuba, bomb shelter salesmen, and the fantasy life of after-hour private club cutups.

Six Characters in Search of an Author is a model revival of the Pirandello classic, in which illusion wrestles with reality and both exchange identities. William Ball’s direction is organic, coursing like blood along a vein to the heart of the play, which is the mind.

The Tiger and The Typists, by Murray Schisgal, are two clever, two-character one-acters about nonconformists who eat their own fashionable cliches and conformists who eat their own unfashionable cliches. Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson assist the playwright no end.

RECORDS

Hail the Conquering Hero (RCA Victor) embroiders Peter Nero’s agile style into some marvelously vapid arrangements of show tunes, hits and old airs; with strings chirping along behind him, Nero plays as if he really means every note. But he couldn’t.

As Long As She Needs Me (Sammy Davis Jr.; Reprise) is the latest trophy bagged by Davis in his ceaseless raid on Broadway musicals. This time it’s Oliver! to begin with, then samples of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Al Jolson and others.

The Unmistakable Tammy Grimes (Columbia) features a showgirl’s wafer-thin voice singing the Sammy Davis songbook, samples from Cole Porter, Gus Kahn and, of course, Oliver!

Where Did Everyone Go? (Nat King Cole; Capitol) is a moody, soft and sometimes weepy tour of the blues, but the songs fit Cole’s velvety style, and the arrangements by Gordon Jenkins couldn’t be better.

It Happened at the World’s Fair (Elvis Presley; MGM) is an almost spooky imitation of a 1938 movie sound track. The songs, all from Elvis’ new movie, tell how he goes to the fair in Seattle, full of Bing Crosby-wholesome fun, meets a girl, and has a Bing Crosby-wonderful time.

Flamenco Antiguo (Carlos Montoya; RCA Victor) is simon-pure music for flamenco guitar, played with ethnic care by one of the masters. For one song Montoya’s son Carlitos joins him in a fierce and festive duet for two guitars, snapping fingers and clucking tongues.

Lena (Lena Home; Charter) is a historically valuable précis of her plum-cake career, with new and lavish arrangements young English sharpshooters riddle such sacred institutions as God, Shakespeare and Harold Macmillan. The wackiest loon of the lunatic lot is Dr. Jonathan Miller.

Off Broadway

To the Water Tower. The Second City troupe is unequaled among U.S. revue groups for its acting skill, imaginative verve, and satiric intrepidity. It lives up to its own reputation in this tart hit-and-run raid on Cuba, bomb shelter salesmen, and the fantasy life of after-hour private club cutups.

Six Characters in Search of an Author is a model revival of the Pirandello classic, in which illusion wrestles with reality and both exchange identities.

BOOKS

Best Reading

The Mercy of God, by Jean Cau. A controversial young French novelist looks with rare insight into the lives of four prisoners racked with convictions of guilt.

The Sky Falls, by Lorenza Mazzetti. Superbly unchildish reminiscences of childhood in wartime Italy, where innocence suffers a memorably brutal death.

The Sin of Father Amaro, by Eca de Queiroz. Published in 1874 but now available in the U.S. for the first time, this early novel by Portugal’s greatest writer of prose is a chilling and corrosive indictment of the priest-ridden society of Portugal in the 1860s.

A Life of One’s Own, by Gerald Brenan. A sharp-eyed and superbly honest autobiography of a 69-year-old Englishman who, at 25, opted out of civilization to pursue a hermit’s vocation.

The Brutal Friendship, by F. W. Deakin. In a scrupulously documented study, Historian Deakin shows how unacknowledged friction between Hitler and Mussolini poisoned the relations and disrupted the war efforts of their two countries.

Bonaparte in Egypt, by J. Christopher Herold. The vividly detailed saga of Napoleon’s three years in Egypt and of the gradual erosion of both his army and his dream of Eastern empire.

Best Sellers

FICTION 1. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour An Introduction, Salinger (1, last week)

2. Seven Days in May, Knebel and Bailey (2)

3. The Glass-Blowers, Du Maurier (5)

4. The Sand Pebbles, McKenna (3)

5. Fail-Safe, Bur dick and Wheeler (4)

6. The Tin Drum, Grass (7)

7. Triumph, Wylie (6)

8. The Moon-Spinners, Stewart (9)

9. Grandmother and the Priests, Caldwell

10. The Moonflower Vine, Carleton (8)

NONFICTION 1. Travels with Charley, Steinbeck (1)

2. The Whole Truth and Nothing But, Hopper (2)

3. The Fire Next Time, Baldwin (3)

4. O Ye Jigs & Juleps!, Hudson (4)

5. The Ordeal of Power, Hughes

6. Final Verdict, St. Johns (6)

7. The Fall of the Dynasties, Taylor (5)

8. The Feminine Mystique, Friedan (8)

9. The Great Hunger, Woodham-Smith 10. My Life in Court, Nizer (9)

All times E.D.T.

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