Thursday, 17 June 2010

Battle of the Sexes (1959)

This movie directed by Charles Crichton is one of those frustrating comedies that has you convinced that it's about to burst into life and become very funny, but never actually does it.  Starring Peter Sellars as Mr Martin, a mild-mannered clerk with hidden reserves of steely determination, Robert Morley as Robert Macpherson (the new owner of his recently departed father's traditional business) and Constance Cummings as an American businesswoman (Angela Barrows) out to prove that she's the ultimate professional, Battle of the Sexes constantly flatters to deceive.  Though there are a couple of good scenes, most of the film is faintly engaging or amusing at best; Sellars' character is deliberately subdued, Cummings' character is (predictably_ overbearing and annoying, while Robert Morely nearly saves the day with an enjoyable performance as a nice chap who's completely and utterly out of his depth.  

Battle of the Sexes is based on a short story (The Catbird Seat by James Thurber) there's not enough fleshing out of the story and characters, and the film does little with a fairly strong opening scenario.  Overall it's not a terrible film and the scenes where Martin manages to convince everyone that Barrows has gone insane is pretty funny, but the film is sadly lacking in genuine laughs otherwise.

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog

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