If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969) - Rotten Tomatoes

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A mid-1960s TV documentary special (and a New Yorker cartoon before that) was the inspiration for If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium. The film is a likeable satire of "packaged" European tours, where the nonplused tourists are expected to rush from one landmark to another in a breathless 18 days. Ian McShane stars as the amorous tour guide, with Suzanne Pleshette as the American department store buyer he falls for; their romance ends when Pleshette decides that the supposedly worldly McShane is too immature for her. An all-star cast, including Murray Hamilton, Peggy Cass, Pamela Britton, Marty Ingels, John Cassavetes and Vittorio De Sica, pops up in comic cameo roles. Our favorite bit: an American and German tourist, simultaneously regaling their respective wives with wildly divergent accounts of the same wartime confrontation. If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium was reworked in 1987 as a made-for-TV movie, cleverly title If It's Tuesday, It Still Must be Belgium.

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Cast

Suzanne Pleshette
as Samantha Perkins
Ian McShane
as Charlie Cartwright
Mildred Natwick
as Jenny Grant
Murray Hamilton
as Fred Ferguson
Sandy Baron
as John Marino
Norman Fell
as Harve Blakely
Peggy Cass
as Edna Ferguson
Marty Ingels
as Bert Greenfield
Aubrey Morris
as Harry Dix
Reva Rose
as Irma Blakely
Hilarie Thompson
as Shelly Ferguson
Hilary Thompson
as Shelly Ferguson
Patricia Routledge
as Mrs. Featherstone
Linda Di Felice
as Fiat Driver's Wife
Paul Esser
as German Sergeant
Roger Six
as Marcel
Sonia Doumen
as Miss Belgium
Lillian Atterer
as Miss Germany
Lucien Krier
as Miss Luxembourg
Ben Gazzara
as Card Player
John Cassavetes
as Card Player
Donovan Leitch
as Singer at Youth Hostel
Anita Ekberg
as Nightclub Performer
Catherine Spaak
as Woman Posing for Photographer
Robert Vaughn
as Photographer
Elsa Martinelli
as Woman on Bridge
Joan Collins
as Girl on Sidewalk
Senta Berger
as London Saleswoman
Virna Lisi
as John's Beautiful Cousin in Rome
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Critic Reviews for If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

The cluelessness of Americans abroad and the inconvenience of roadrunner-paced vacations are both satirized in a gentle manner.

Full Review… | July 3, 2016
Creative Loafing

Pleasantly amusing.

Full Review… | July 24, 2015
Examiner.com

Audience Reviews for If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

½

Unsuspecting tourists encounter enriching events abroad by tour bus. Thought provoking comedy of Americans visiting Europe plus romantic tales thrown in. Pragmatic Americans take in the sights of London and the continent showing how two weeks on a bus could make for a memorable ride though initially disappointing. It's amusing the further you go along for the ride and worth the ride. SEE the entire film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRmO1BXDONI Some beg to go home early, claiming "Americans go home" the best three words in the language. Another said, "whoever wrote Home Sweet Home, must have taken this tour". Or, "I feel like I was born on this bus" and then "I feel like I died on it". But as the tour continues, each has a adventure they will not forget (for better or worse). [img]http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608043261816998601&pid=15.1[/img] The bus tour guide A special treat for those interested in clothing of the day, mannerisms, the spoken slang of the day. The film also has cameo appearances by Senta Berger, John Cassavetes, Joan Collins, Vittorio De Sica, Anita Ekberg, Ben Gazzara, Virna Lisi, Elsa Martinelli, Catherine Spaak and Robert Vaughn. [img]http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.607987989883848183&pid=15.1[/img] "Charlie (Ian McShane) is an English tour guide who takes groups of Americans on whirlwind 18-day sightseeing tours of Europe. Among his various clients on his latest trip are Samantha (Suzanne Pleshette) with whom he wants to have an affair; a man who desires a pair of custom-made Italian shoes from a certain cobbler in Rome; and a vet who is reliving his World War II experiences."---wikipedia [img]http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608045512378483660&pid=15.1[/img] REVIEWS: 1 70% Quirky, but enjoyable. 2 Loved the movie. It was really fun to watch after getting back from a trip in Europe. [img]http://i590.photobucket.com/albums/ss343/fergusmcphail/Tuesday%20Belgium/Belgium2.jpg[/img] The comedy romance begins NOTEs; 1 Locations where the film was shot include Rome and Venice, Italy; Brussels and Bastogne, Belgium; the Netherlands; Switzerland; and London, England. The film poster shows the cast on the normally pedestrianized Grote Markt square of Antwerp, Belgium, posing for a typical souvenir photo in front of the city hall, with their tour bus obstructing the view of the Brabo fountain which is normally a favorite photo-op with other tourists. 2 Folk singer Donovan makes a guest appearance in the film singing Lord of the Reedy River, which he had also written. He also wrote the film's title song, performed by J.P. Rags. 3 Patricia Routledge as Mrs. Featherstone (tour guide) was later better known in Keeping Up Appearances as Mrs. Boquet, an Enlish sitcom. 4 The title, also used by a 1965 documentary on CBS television that filmed one such tour, was taken from a New Yorker cartoon by Leonard Dove. [img]http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.607999964256274396&pid=15.1[/img] Suzanne Pleshette as Samantha Perkins Ian McShane as Charlie Cartwright Mildred Natwick as Jenny Grant Murray Hamilton as Fred Ferguson Sandy Baron as John Marino Michael Constantine as Jack Harmon Norman Fell as Harve Blakely Peggy Cass as Edna Ferguson Marty Ingels as Bert Greenfield Pamela Britton as Freda Reva Rose as Irma Blakely Aubrey Morris as Harry Dix Hilary Thompson as Shelly Ferguson (as Hilarie Thompson) Luke Halpin as Bo Mario Carotenuto as Giuseppe Patricia Routledge as Mrs. Featherstone Directed by Mel Stuart Produced by Stan Margulies & David L. Wolper Written by David Shaw Music by Walter Scharf Cinematography Vilis Lapenieks Editing by David Saxon Distributed by United Artists Release dates April 24, 1969 (1969-04-24) Running time 99 min Country United States Language English [img]http://iv1.lisimg.com/image/2240740/600full-if-it%27s-tuesday%2C-it-still-must-be-belgium-poster.jpg[/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

This movie follows a busload of tourists rushing from city to city in Europe. The story is fine and I love the European scenery. One of the better vintage classics.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

In Which a Young Ian McShane Sings The farthest I have ever been out of the United States is Victoria, British Columbia. This was when I lived in Port Angeles back in the mid to late '90s, and going to Victoria for the day was something to do. It cost, at the time, $13 round trip if you walked onto the car ferry. The nearest mall was in Victoria. Still is, I think. At the time, you didn't need much in the way of ID to cross the border, and customs was a breeze. I haven't seen much of anything you can't get to in an easy walk, and I never even actually went to the wax museum, which is right there on the waterfront, but it was still nice. The idea of just deciding to go to a foreign country appealed to me. Heck, during the summer, you could wake up as late as eleven, I think, catch the ferry over, hang out for a few hours, and still be able to get home to the US the same day. But doing Victoria that way was okay, because it was right there and you could come back and explore somewhere else later. This group of American tourists doesn't have that option. They're World-Wind Vacation Tour #225, a group of eighteen Americans spending a few weeks in Europe. And by "Europe," we pretty much do mean all of it. They get a day in Venice and a day in Rome, for example. Two days in London, I think, but can you really see much of London in two days? The lovely Samantha Perkins (Suzanne Pleshette) is a clothes buyer from Minneapolis who intends to spend her trip in Europe making up her mind if she's going to marry George (Frank Latimore). Edna Ferguson (Peggy Cass) has dragged her husband, Fred (Murray Hamilton) on the trip, and he's dragged their daughter, Shelly (Hilary Thompson). Irma Blakely (Reva Rose) somehow gets on a Banzai Tours bus instead and ends up traveling Europe with a group of Japanese tourists while her husband, Harv (Norman Fell) tries frantically to get her back. Jack Harmon (Michael Constantine) was there in the war, and he is still haunted by the memories of the lovely Gina (Marina Berti). All of these people have come to Europe for whatever reason, but it really seems as though few of the major characters have come because they want to see Europe. Edna Ferguson, clearly, but Shelly's only along because her father's afraid she'll have sex with her boyfriend if they leave her alone. Which, to be fair, she probably would. There's also a sweet older lady, whose name I missed, who is very clearly enjoying herself immensely. Frankly, though, I don't think you can really see much of Europe in three weeks. Oh, you can see enough so that you can say, you know, "I've been to Luxembourg." In case anyone cares. However, I can't imagine only having a few hours to explore Venice, for example, and it seems they spend an awfully long time at cheese markets and so forth, so they don't even have that. They're doing a lot of touristy things in a lot of different countries in a very little time. Hence title, of course, but it still strikes me as a horrible way to see much of anywhere interesting. Of course, the movie agrees, and it is pretty strongly implied that, in most cases, these are not the sort of people who would much be intellectually stimulated by examining the works of David at the Louvre. Whip 'em past the [i]Mona Lisa[/i] and back onto the bus seems to be more their speed. Now, one of them (Sandy Baron) probably just should have done a longer tour of Italy, given it's most of why he's there. (Learning a bit of Italian before visiting Italian family would have been favourite, too.) And I can't help wondering if there aren't special tours for people like Jack. He says he's chosen the tour he has because it was supposed to take him through a lot of places he visited during the war. (There's an amusing scene where we counter his description of the Battle of the Bulge with what is obviously a former German soldier's.) Then again, maybe everyone on the bus would be trying to tell each other their war stories and there would be no one to listen. Not that I think that, for example, Mr. Ferguson has any interest whatsoever. And, believe it or not, there is Ian McShane as Charlie Cartwright, their tour guide. It's not that I don't think of him as having been young exactly. I think it's more that I can never remember how old he is. He's sixty-eight. He's older than my mother. Which actually means that in this movie, he was twenty-seven. The idea of Ian McShane playing, in 1969, someone who's really old enough so that he ought to stop fooling around is a little jarring to me, and it's really not helped when he starts singing and dancing in a square in Rome, or possibly Venice. This is part of his wooing of Suzanne Pleshette. He tells her that he's from a family of buskers, and once he's explained what busking is, he then proceeds to do a little song and dance routine in the hopes that he's been charming and endearing enough to get her into bed. It really, really helps that his looks have changed enough over the last forty years that he doesn't look like Al Swearengen in this movie.

Edith Nelson
Edith Nelson

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