Monday, January 2, 2017

The Facts of Life, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, 1960

Watched a pro-adultery 1960 comedy called The Facts of Life starring Bob Hope and Lucille Ball. I had never heard of it. It was made as they both began their sad declines. Hope was 57, Ball was 49.

Three couples save expenses by taking vacations together. Lucille Ball is married to a compulsive gambler played by Don DeFore. I don't remember what Bob Hope's problem was with his wife. But three couples plan to fly to Acapulco. Lucy's husband gets called off on business but will fly down later and Bob Hope's wife stays behind because their son is sick in bed. In Acapulco, the third couple is struck down by illness and Bob and Lucy who hate each other are thrown together. They soon fall in love.

It was a time when you could check into a motel or book a flight and board a plane without giving your real name, although I'm not sure it was really necessary. They had a problem running into people they knew, and they were afraid that if they got divorced that it would be reported in the newspapers.

I was surprised to read that the thing won an Oscar for best costume design and was nominated for Best Art Direction Black and White, Best Original Song, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography Black and White. Produced, directed and co-written by Melvin Frank who went on to make A Touch of Class thirteen years later, another middle-aged adultery movie.

I watched it and kept thinking about the state of Woody Allen's career when he was at that stage of life.

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