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The 1970s were a great time for the romantic comedy genre because The Goodbye Girl (1977), Cinderella Liberty (1973) and Annie Hall (1977) were released but this little British film was one of those that received a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. In my view this was one of the best films nominated for Best Picture in 1973 despite it's unconventional genre for that sort of attention from the Academy. I was not familiar with the work of the film's director, Melvin Frank, before seeing this film but I will try to seek out his other work after enjoying this so much. People seem to overlook this film for some odd reason but I hope it gets rediscovered because other than one off color reference to rape the film has aged very well.
Married man Steve Blackburn, George Segal, falls for divorced fashion designer Vicky Allessio, Glenda Jackson, and the two plan to have a brief sexual affair on holiday in Malaga, Spain. The affair does not start off on a positive note as the holiday goes wrong in a variety of farcical ways. The two do get along eventually and at the end of their holiday decide to buy a small apartment where they can continue to engage in their affair. Vicky quickly finds that she is more committed to the relationship than he is and as his affections begin to waver she decides that she must break things off because she is becoming too attached to a man who will never give himself to her completely.
It was very strange to watch this film the day after having seen the delightful but hardly weighty Falling in Love (1984) which also features a couple having an affair falling in love but that film ends on a more upbeat tone. The genius of the film is it's ending because we see that this woman really does want to have a proper relationship with a man, complete with love and commitment. A lot of films refuse to show this the hard way however where this film shows us her anguish over his lack of attention and the embarrassment that comes with showing too much commitment to the affair. Their love will never be able to continue because he is too committed to his family and current lifestyle to ever considering leaving them for her but for the brief time we see them together we understand why the two of them would feel so connected.
Jackson is quite lovely in her role as she brings a sharp witted British sensibility to all of her cutting remarks and a surprising sensitivity to her more serious moments. She is a prime example of why we love British comedic actresses as she feels like an antecedent of Emma Thompson and Miranda Richardson, we want to hug their accents. I felt an incredible sadness as I watched her sit in an apartment alone waiting for the man she loves and yet I never got the sense that this was not a woman who could hold her own in her career and personal life. Segal brings wonderful comic timing and an American goofiness to his role and complements his leading lady well as the two face of and then fall for each other completely. I can see why Jackson won her Best Actress Academy Award and I think she richly deserved it even though I also love Marsha Mason in Cinderella Liberty. It's nice to see a romantic comedy lead get rewarded who is not Cher or Helent Hunt.
I would absolutely recommend that you see this film because it's a really fun romp with unexpected depth that shows people having the sort of love story that feels both natural and ridiculously comic. For those who don't usually like romantic comedies this one may appeal to them because it is significantly meaner and more explicit in it's sexual references than say While You Were Sleeping (1995). Do I love this film? Yes. Do I think it is a masterpiece? No. All I can be certain of is that it is a hell of a lot better than The Sting (1973).
Everything is well-done. It's just predictable. And the last third comes across nearly aimless, despite its intact ending.
8.0/10, my review: http://wp.me/p1eXom-2iJ
a small film that is well acted but does not age particularly well.
A very good film that's worth watching again and again...
A funny bit of romping between George Segal and Glenda Jackson. It makes a bit too much light of adultery but ultimately we can forgive it because of its charm.
Very well done romantic comedy from the 70's. Glenda Jackson and George Segal are fantastic and I loved Paul Sorvino. I couldn't help reflecting on how life has changed with modern technology. Especially when they were booking flights and missing phone calls. I can see why this film was a big deal in 1973.
A light comedy which also explores the differences between the British and Americans. The hilarious dialogues and marvelous scenery of Malaga have indeed enriched the film. However, the development afterwards starts to be clichéd and the saddening ending does not comply with the light atmosphere Melvin Frank crafted throughout, leading the entire film pretty to be desired. However, with Glenda Jackson's brilliant performance as its essence and scenes of David Lean's Brief Encounter as its features, A Touch of Class is definitely pleasure for cinephiles. One more thing, the hilarious Paul Sorvino did add other spices to the film!
Oh what a web we weave when we attempt to decieve! Amusing tale of a divorced woman and unhappily married man who by chance need each other. Roger Ebert wrote: "A sharp-edged, often very funny dissection of a love affair between two possibly incompatible people.
But then it gets serious with itself and ends on a note that doesn't satisfy us. Our hopes have been raised for these two people; we want them to be happy with each other; when they separate it doesn't seem right."
A Touch of Class is a 1973 British romantic comedy film which tells the story of a couple having an affair, who find themselves falling in love.
SEE the entire film here:
[img]http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbizlfessA1qes1rgo1_500.jpg[/img] Glenda Jackson and George Segal (see-gal)
I saw this film first run in 1973 and quite frankly, it didn't make much of an impression on me. Despite Roger Ebert's glowing 100% rating, for a youth like I was this was pretty lame. Still, its for mature audiences in many ways.
A Touch of Class is put together rather strangely. It starts out as a sex comedy (a very funny one) and turns into a drama somewhere along the line. ...
This is the 2nd older movie I watched from the recommendations of a work colleague- I told him that I liked The Graduate with the young Dustin Hoffman... More
[img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTxv237X9mVKbPmu_KONlLTnDbKLI-TImJcz6x2u_QKJ5rB5FVN[/img] Glenda Jackson
Roger Ebert's complete review of 1973 about the film:
NOTES and Trivia:
1 The lead role of Steve was originally offered to Cary Grant, with a promise by Frank to rewrite the script to play up the age difference between Steve and Vicky. However, Grant opted to remain in retirement from filmmaking, and he turned the role down. He did remain connected to the film, however, as it was produced by Fabergé's Brut Productions, and Grant was on the board of directors for Fabergé.
George Segal - Steven 'Steve' Blackburn
Glenda Jackson - Vicki Allessio
Hildegarde Neil - Gloria Blackburn
Paul Sorvino - Walter Menkes
K Callan - Patty Menkes
Cec Linder - Wendell Thompson
Michael Elwyn - Cecil
Mary Barclay - Martha Thompson
Nadim Sawalha - Night Hotel Manager
June 20, 1973
1 Awards and 4 nominations
The film won the Academy Award for Best Actress (Glenda Jackson)
and was nominated for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score,
Best Music, Song (for George Barrie and Sammy Cahn for "All That Love Went to Waste"),
Best Picture and Best Writing,
Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced.
Both Segal and Jackson won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.
This was a really fun movie. The constant banter was a result of a great script, and the golfing scenes were absolutely hilarious.