Don't Just Stand There (1968) Poster

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5/10
Madcap comedy set in Paris and filmed in Hollywood...the gregarious players help
moonspinner5523 March 2010
Screenwriter Charles Williams adapted his own book "The Wrong Venus" about an authoress of tawdry sex novels leaving her latest bestseller unfinished--seems she was a 40-year old virgin who finally got wind of what she was writing about! Another woman, an amazon who practices Judo, was brought in to finish the book but found herself witness to a murder and was kidnapped; now, her successor (an American man who smuggles watches into Europe!), attempts to rescue her with help from a savvy actress. To say this wacky caper is overly-involved is putting it mildly. Ron Winston directs the picture at a breathless pace, but Williams doesn't writes enough jokes... he's too busy creating more characters. Only in the movie's saner, quieter moments do the principals emerge as people, but we are seldom privy to their plans (all the scheming seems to happen off-screen). The cruelest blow delivered to Winston and his actors was Universal's apparent decision to film the comedy on their lot in Hollywood, with stock shots of France interspersed. One quickly grows tired of the need to hustle its cast indoors in order to betray the surroundings. Robert Wagner is surprisingly upbeat and frisky throughout (not his usual dour self) and he's matched well with Mary Tyler Moore (in a short brunette wig) and leggy Barbara Rhoades. Some funny scenes and exchanges, though it's often labored and galumphing. ** from ****
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