HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
   
 
Newest Articles
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
   
 
  I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! Try The BrowniesBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Hy Averback
Stars: Peter Sellers, Jo Van Fleet, Leigh Taylor-Young, Joyce Van Patten, David Arkin, Herb Edelman, Salem Ludwig, Louis Gottlieb, Grady Sutton, Janet E. Clark, Jorge Moreno, Ed Peck, Jack Margolis, Eddra Gale, Carol O'Leary, Gary Brown, Sidney Clute, Roy Glenn
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Harold Fine (Peter Sellers) is a middle class lawyer in Los Angeles who makes a decent living and has a girlfriend, Joyce (Joyce Van Patten), who loves him, yet though he would have trouble admitting it, there's something missing from his life that he can't quite put his finger on. One night, he has spent the evening with Joyce and they have made love, but when it comes to taking her home there are two problems: first, she keeps going on about wanting to set a date for marriage because neither of them are getting any younger, and second he manages to crash a thoughtless neighbour's car into his own...

There are quite a few instances of Hollywood trying to cash in on the latest trend of the day, and quite often today's hip and happening entertainment can look like yesterday's laughing stock, but in this film's case it was always supposed to be funny anyway. Not that it didn't appear dated now with its preoccupation with the hippies seizing the headlines in the late sixties, and even its theme of finding yourself could come across as past it when most people couldn't reach a consensus in the twenty-first century about what was able to make you happy, yet for all the bandwagon-jumping in Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker's script, they might have been onto something.

It wasn't all hippies here, as there was an interesting line in Jewish humour as well, which was intriguing for its star Sellers, who may have been of that faith but didn't often make obvious comedy of his background. Here he adopted a mild American accent and tackled an overbearing mother (Jo Van Fleet) and that sense of duty, of conformity, that many religions insisted upon which made for a strange mix with the drop out gags proliferating alongside the slightly more stereotypical business. Not that the hippies were any less clich├ęd, yet that fitting in as opposed to rebelling tone was the basis for a rich seam of laughs, the most memorable scene being where Harold, Joyce and his parents partake of hash brownies (courtesy of the titular Toklas recipe).

Presumably this was near the knuckle humour for the squares of 1968, though now it appears to be the stuff of many a sitcom episode since, but crucially it was funny, as was a lot of this thanks to the sympathy we feel for the confused main character. That script was nicely constructed with the satisfaction of watching toppling dominos, with one plot point leading easily and effortlessly to another, beginning with Harold having to get his car repaired and in a hint of things to come the only replacement the garage has is a psychedelically-painted station wagon belonging to the owner's eloped son. It is around this point we learn that Harold's brother Herb (David Arkin) has dropped out of society.

So when Harold picks him up to take him to a funeral, along comes Herb's sort of partner Nancy (Leigh Taylor-Young, making a good impression in her movie debut) who begins to fascinate our hapless hero - it is she who bakes the brownies. Soon he has jilted Joyce at the altar to run off with her, and becomes a fully-fledged, ageing flower child, much to the horror of his family. Sellers played this very well, never quite abandoning the straightlaced nature of his character even when he's stoned, with he and Taylor-Young a winning and offbeat couple who we can tell are not really right for each other even if they take a while to acknowledge it themselves. There were just as many digs at the hippies as there were at the middle classes, but with a wistful quality as if to muse, if you don't fit in with these two poles then where does that leave you? If nothing else, I Love You Alice B. Toklas! (as sung by Harper's Bizarre throughout) was redolent of its era, a time capsule not wholly convinced of the worth of that era. Music by Elmer Bernstein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2095 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: