Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

If its Tuesday this must be Belgium - 1969

A friend who works in travel wanted to re-see this, so I got a copy for him - its passably amusing, dealing with a coach tour of Europe in the Sixties, taking in nine countries in eighteen days. The usual predictable comedy situations take place, ticking off each nation's stereotypes. The American tourists are mainly schlubs married to nagging wives, or rampant lechers .... at least Mildred Natwick, Murray Hamilton, Norman Fell try to create characters, while the leads are tour guide Ian McShane who of course has a girl in every country, and Suzanne Pleshette, looking and sounding marvellous here, as the romantic interest on the trip. The movie is Suzanne's all the way. 

Directed by Mel Stewart, the only point of interest here is the endless walk-ons by assorted European stars who turn up for a minute or less each. There's Anita Ekberg, Elsa Martinelli, Virna Lisi, Senta Berger, Catherine Spaak, Joan Collins (whom I did not even spot so tiny is her appearance), at least Vittorio De Sica gets a few minutes as a wily shoemaker. and Donovan sings the drippy theme song, and Patricia Routledge is the bossy London guide. 
There is one shot at the start of Ben Gazzara and John Cassavetes playing cards - why? it is like they are in a different film, Its hippies and mini skirts all the way, made palatable for the great family audience, 

It catches that late Sixties look and would actually be a good double bill with BUONA SERA, MRS CAMPBELL, that other late 60s look at American tourists in Europe ..... but its hardly essential cinema.


  1. I agree that it's hardly essential but Suzanne Pleshette makes anything worth watching and this is a fluffy pleasure ride with nice scenery, those fun cameos and my beloved Mildred Natwick. It's been a while so I should really give this another go.

  2. I've never seen this but I agree with Joel about Pleshette on whom I had something of a boyhood crush (maybe it was that deep voice) and, of course, Mildred made everything she was in worth seeing. I will check it out.