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  • "Who Was That Lady?" has no deep theme underlying the comedy, but neither do many of the best comedies. This one begins as it ends, with laughter. It's not belly laughs all the way through, but even the laughless parts consist of plot mechanisms that are per se at least amusing and serve as set-ups for later guffaws. There are moments when you'll feel as if you're about to split with laughter.

    A summary is in order, although it will sound silly. An assistant professor of chemistry at Columbia (Curtis, who lives with his wife, Janet Leigh) in a pad no assistant professor would allow himself to dream of, is caught being kissed by one of his students. Leigh enters his office at the wrong moment, turns on her heel and walks out to go home and begin packing. (All we see of this opening scene are the legs of the three participants.)

    A desperate Curtis calls his old pal Martin, a writer of TV mysteries, to help him figure out a way to keep his wife. Over drinks of lab alcohol Martin comes up with something like, "I've got it. You know why you were kissing that girl? Because you're a secret agent in the F.B.I. and she's a Russian spy." Curtis believes this is the dumbest story he's ever heard. But Martin pulls down the shades and locks the doors and tells him that he, Martin, is himself an F.B.I. agent, having been trained at Quantico while Curtis thought he was on duty in the Army. Martin even pulls off his sock and shows him four dots tattooed on his heel, the sure sign of a secret agent. "J. Edgar Hoover has five."

    Curtis is convinced. And Martin begins tattooing his heel with a pen and an electric fan. Queried by a still puzzled Curtis, Martin tells him, "Me? In the F.B.I.? I couldn't even get to be an eagle scout, you jackass." As far as the dots go, Martin doesn't know about Hoover but everybody in his fraternity at Cornell has them.

    I'm going to avoid going into this because it would spoil things. Suffice it to say that in order to convince Leigh that Curtis really is an F.B.I. agent, Martin goes to his prop department at CBS and has a fake F.B.I. ID card printed and requisitions a pistol. The F.B.I. gets wind of the fake card. So does the C.I.A. So do the Russians. In the end, a drugged Curtis and Martin wake up in the basement of the Empire State Building, believing they've been kidnapped and are aboard a Russian submarine. I swear I'm not making this up. They decide to sacrifice their lives and sink the submarine, which they attempt to do by hugging each other, then turning every valve and faucet in sight, pulling levers, releasing cascades of water, until they short out the electrical circuit of the Empire State Building.

    I'm going to leave it there, I think. It hasn't appeared much on TV lately, and that's the only reason I can think of why there aren't any previous comments on this hilarious comedy. Really, folks, it doesn't deserve to pass unseen. Everyone in it is at his/her comedic best. Even James Whitmore manages to evoke a sympathetic smile or two. And Barbara Nichols in a small but important role has never been funnier. In a Chinese nightclub, Martin and Curtis promise her a job on TV, a proposition which they argue should be discussed over the course of a weekend at the shore. Nichols excuses herself and phones her agent: "They're talking' about a job," she tells him, "but now they're throwin' in Atlantic City." She and Joi Lansing are the prey in this scene. "Get a load of the way these gals are assembled," Martin mutters to Curtis. And adds: "They sing and dance -- like rabbits."

    It's not sophisticated but when you come right down to it comedy doesn't really need elegance to be funny. Was Feydeau sophisticated? Was Aristophanes? Was Daffy Duck?
  • Light-hearted and amusing tale where Martin gets Curtis to pretend he is a member of the FBI to cover up Leigh catching him kissing another girl.

    Yes, that's about it but its OK, Tony Curtis doesn't put himself out too much, Dean Martin is his usual cool self and coasts easily enough through the proceedings but it is the energetic and likable performance from Janet Leigh that surprises.

    Same year as Psycho!

    Worth seeing if you are a fan of any of the three stars. Nothing brilliant but never a dull moment.
  • When Janet Leigh interrupts assistant chemistry professor husband Tony Curtis at work she finds him in the arms of a female student ,and promptly sets about leaving him and petitioning for divorce .He turns in desperation to his friend -a TV scriptwriter played by Dean Martin.Together they concoct a story that he is an FBI agent whose romantic activity was all in the line of duty .Somewhat implausibly she believes the far fetched tale and the marriage is once again set fair.Or it would be but for unexpected complications--the real FBI are not amused by the deception;Martin siezes upon the deception as a cover for his serial womanising and some foreign spies believe Curtis and Martin may have secrets they can use.It builds to a frantic climax deep in the bowels of the Empire State Building, The movie has pace and this is what sustains interest for the script is pretty feeble -thin to the point of anorexia.The movie zips along briskly enough to paper over the cracks in the script and while rarely laugh out loud this is a genial and engaging comedy very much of its period in its attitudes to women who are here confined to domesticity and looking good.

    Strong performances all round with James Whitmore especially good as an ulcer ridden FBI man and John mcIntyre as his superior.
  • I'd always wanted to check out this well-regarded if rarely-seen comedy – for the record, some years back I missed out on its sole Italian TV screening (that I know of). For Tony Curtis, it meant something of a follow-up to the classic SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) – where he's forced, with his co-star (in this case, Dean Martin), to pass himself off as something he isn't (an F.B.I. agent), leading to misunderstanding, various complications and imminent danger.

    Similarly, a female is involved in the shenanigans (Curtis' on and off-screen wife Janet Leigh) though, here, the whole ruse starts off because of her: Chemistry Professor Curtis' fling with a female student is discovered by his jealous wife, so he turns for help to his best pal – TV writer Martin – who procures him with papers (and a gun) denoting his Bureau affiliations; Leigh is finally convinced of this and, soon after, is contacted by a real F.B.I. operative (James Whitmore) who uses her to keep track of just what Curtis and Martin are up to!

    One of the highlights of the film is the extended yet splendid incident in a restaurant: Leigh accepts Curtis' excuse to go on the town with Martin, believing it to be another federal job – but, in her over-eagerness to help, effectively blows his cover…which then lands the F.B.I. itself in hot water! The biggest trouble, however, is that enemy agents take the two men to be the real deal and kidnap them (and Leigh) in order to extract vital information they believe Curtis is in possession of! The aftermath of this sequence is again hilarious as, dazed by the drug he's been given, Curtis thinks they've been taken to a Russian sub and persuades Martin to flood it…but it transpires that they're in the basement of the Empire State Building!

    The script (adapted by Norman Krasna – who also produced – from his own play) balances witty dialogue with inspired zany situations, which are then delightfully put across by an excellent cast. Both male stars, in fact, were already adept at this type of thing (crooner Martin also sings the title tune), but Leigh surprisingly proves a fine comedienne in her own right: it's a pity that her marriage to Curtis was crumbling by this time which is doubly ironic given the film's plot, but they were professional enough not to let the real cracks show in their performances.
  • "Who was That Lady" is an amazingly creative comedy.Tony Curtis is a loving husband with a beautiful but very jealous wife.His best friend Dean Martin is hysterical! These two men plot to relieve Tony's wife Janet Leigh of her jealous suspicions with the most outrageous fabrications ever invented. I don't want to give away all the fun, but you have to see the number of schemes Dean Martin comes up with and she continually is more proud of her husband, an innocent professor,who was seen by his wife being kissed by a female as she leaves class.Janet Leigh wants to know who was that lady kissing you and why,she then decides to just leave him.So he goes to his womanizing buddy for advise. He's desperate therefore takes some crazy idea and tells her he's doing work undercover for the govt..Some real spy's over hear and trouble ensues.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was always a Dino fan, still am all these years later, and this film makes me wish he and Tony Curtis had made a couple more of these in the 60s. Conventional wisdom says the real talent in Martin and Lewis was Jerry, and the real talent in Some Like It Hot is Jack Lemmon and not Tony Curtis, but when these two straight men, or at least straighter men, get together, this story gets as wacky as any Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis, or Abbott and Costello vehicle. Both guys can be as charming as always and as goofy and funny as their other partners, with Dino running away with a little more of the comedy than Tony. This one is strictly a guy flick, a boy's club guilty pleasure about two friends conspiring to repair a marriage with a made up story of FBI agents and Russian spies and beautiful women, and just has to be funny, especially when the real FBI, James Whitmore and John McIntire, and the real KGB, Simon Oakland and Larry Storch, get wind of it and turn up. Throw in the ever lovely Janet Leigh as Tony's wife, and the pre-silicone/saline implant miracles of Barbara Nichols and Joi Lansing as two blond bimbos Dino wants help schmoozing, and this becomes every post-pubescent boys dream come true comedy of the 60s. It looks like so much fun that you have to believe these people weren't even working when they made it. And just when you think they can't go any farther or get more ridiculous, they set off to "sink" the Empire State Building. These guys could have gotten Kong down without a shot! Without apologies to anyone, I just loved this one!
  • Although the premise first hearing about it and reading it didn't exactly grab me and didn't sound plausible for a minute, the star power did attract me enough to see 'Who Was That Lady' anyway. Also had heard the title song beforehand, sung by none other by Dean Martin, and was quite impressed. Tony Curtis, Dean Martin and Janet Leigh's careers were all hit and miss but they were always likeable enough and always did their best regardless of what was thrown at them.

    Which is the case here with 'Who Was That Lady'. Can definitely see why the reviews here are mixed, with some really liking it and others being indifferent. Everybody is not at their finest and did have better material, but it doesn't waste them either. As for me myself, my opinion is somewhere in between, finding enough to enjoy but not really loving it and wishing that it could have been more. With it not starting off all that promisingly but it got better.

    The story is very thin at times and is often very implausible and a little more complicated than it needed to be (even for a concocted story between characters intended to be that way). It could have gotten going quicker.

    In terms of the writing, 'Who Was That Lady' did in my view at times try too hard for laughs, meaning some of the material is strained. While everything with the Russians is quite fun to watch and suspenseful, the film feels like a different film towards the end. Going from frothy romantic comedy to thriller.

    However, the glossy production values are skillfully done. The music has energy and charm and the title song is vintage Martin, which will be a delight if a fan of him (have personally always loved his voice). The direction becomes more at ease when the film gets going and the dialogue has plenty of wit and is very amusing in many parts. The restaurant scene is a joy and very memorable.

    Curtis is likeable and has strong comic timing, while over-eager at times. Leigh is charm personified and brings a lot of vitality to a role that's fairly thankless and plot device-like. Martin works very well with Curtis and amuses. The chemistry between Curtis and real-life wife at the time Leigh are sweet without being too sugary, one would not have guessed that they were apparently having marital problems at that point. James Whitmore is enjoyably subtle and Larry Storch steals his scenes even if his character seemed as if it was lifted from another film.

    Summing up, quite enjoyable though am a little mixed on what my thoughts are. 6/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A trio of major stars, close to their peak of fame at the time, help to enliven this overdrawn farce based on a moderately successful Broadway play. Curtis is a university scientist who is canoodling with a female student when his wife Leigh walks in and catches him. In no time flat, she is packing for Reno to get a divorce and orders him out of the house by 7:00pm. Curtis's pal Martin, a writer for CBS television, helps to concoct a scheme designed to fool Leigh into calling off the split. He aids Curtis in convincing Leigh that they are FBI agents and that the girl being smooched was just a small part of a much bigger plan. After some deliberation, Leigh falls for the story, but thanks to a loose end from the props department at CBS, the real FBI gets involved and things become more and more convoluted and complicated from there. Curtis is appropriately manic and desperate as he tries to inject a sense of imperativeness to the silly and unrealistic plot. Playing a cheating husband couldn't have been too great a stretch for him as he admitted to fooling around on Leigh many times during their real life marriage and, in fact, would leave her for a younger girl only two years after this. Martin appears to be investing his role with a little more conviction than he would later in his Matt Helm series and tries to add texture to his performance (or is he just trying to steal focus?) by fiddling often with props. He's mostly second fiddle to Curtis, but does get to toss out a few zesty lines now and then. Leigh (saddled with an unflatteringly tousled hairdo) overacts with abandon in order to keep up with the guys' zaniness. She cuts a nice figure in her black cocktail dress, but has a pretty dense role to play. Fortunately for her, "Psycho" would come out the same year as this and immortalize her forever in a more flattering way. Some strong supporting players, notably Whitmore as a beleaguered FBI agent and Nichols and Lansing as a couple of bottle-blonde pickups, give their all in an effort to liven up the film. Whitmore very wisely underplays his role in contrast to the more broadly acted ones. Unfortunately, the play was dated before too long after its run and the film is badly dated now. The stage origins show through frequently despite attempts to move the action around. Curtis's apartment is interestingly laid out, though very artificial in nature. This was made at a time when the big trend was to involve the Russians (see also Leigh's version of "Bye, Bye Birdie") or to throw in a big, sloppy spectacle such as a pie fight or an overflowing washing machine. Here, the Russians make their obligatory appearance and the unlikely flooding of a New York City landmark accents the climax. It wouldn't be so bad if the script didn't take so long to set things up and dwell on so many unnecessary details along the way, but it would hardly matter because the whole enterprise is both inane and distasteful in any case. There's an odd layer of (unintentional?) homoeroticism dispersed throughout as well, with Curtis and Martin contorting their way through the machinations of the plot and Curtis nearly kissing a male Soviet agent. What it's got are three charismatic stars trying their best and some clean black and white photography, but what it's lacking is a compelling premise that is carried out proficiently.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film has to be one of the very best romantic comedies ever made. It works well on so many levels and leaves the viewer with a good feeling at the end. I remember seeing it numerous times when it was released in the year 1960. This is a real feel-good movie, made in a more innocent time before the antiwar protests and campus revolts which characterized the latter years of that decade. This movie stays with you long after you see it. It was just released on DVD, 47 years after it came out. I have always had fond and wonderful memories of this film. Watching it tonight just before sitting down to write this review was like seeing an old friend whom you haven't seen for decades. All those warm feelings and fond remembrances just came flooding right back and it's like you're 10 years old again. The storyline is simple and straightforward. TONY CURTIS plays David Wilson, an assistant professor of chemistry at Columbia University. His wife Ann(JANET LEIGH) decides to surprise him by dropping in unexpectedly and catches him in a liplock with a female co-ed who initiated it. She runs out, jumps in a cab and angrily announces that she's divorcing him and he'll be out of their apartment that evening. Panic-stricken, David calls his old friend Mike Haney(DEAN MARTIN), a mystery writer for the CBS television network. David pleads with him to come up with a good excuse that he could use with Ann to explain away what happened. Over tall drinks of 90-proof chemistry lab hootch, Mike comes up with an explanation- and it's a doozy. He tells David that he was kissing her in the performance of his duty- as an undercover agent for the FBI! David thinks that Mike is nuts and tells him that Ann would never buy such a ridiculous tale. But Mike convinces him that it would work and takes him to the prop department at CBS where he orders up an authentic looking FBI identification card and a police revolver that ostensibly will be used on his show. They confront Ann at the apartment that evening and go through a whole routine to convince her that her hubby is a G-man. Skeptical at first, she winds up buying it after seeing the card and the gun. A comedy of errors ensues when the FBI gets involved after the props are not used on the show and when DEAN MARTIN decides to capitalize on the situation by suckering David into going on a double-date with two platinum blonde bombshells played by BARBARA NICHOLS and JOI LANSING, all in the line of duty, of course. David and Ann wind up on the six o'clock news when Ann goes to the Chinese restaurant with a real FBI Agent(JAMES WHITMORE) to give David "his" gun which he forgot to take with him. Misinterpreting what she overhears in the powder room, Ann thinks the two blondes plan on killing her husband and Mike! She attempts to stop them at gunpoint and in the ensuing struggle for the revolver, the gun goes off and Agent Powell takes a bullet in the arm. David is rendered unconscious by a flowerpot falling off a window ledge that lands on his head. A mobile television news crew arrives and Ann, cradling her unconscious husband in her arms, tells the reporter that he works for the FBI and the two blondes are enemy agents! The next day the newspapers have blaring headlines about FBI undercover agents capturing Soviet spies in Times Square! The plot thickens when government wiretaps reveal that actual Russian agents want to get their hands on David because he knows the names of fellow scientists at Columbia University who are conducting research on germ warfare and radioactivity. Posing as FBI Agents, the Russians(LARRY STORCH and SIMON OAKLAND) sucker David, Ann and Mike to the Empire State Building for a photo shoot by the Bureau's Public Relations Division. The FBI sets up a stakeout but the Russians succeed in isolating the trio in an elevator and administering sodium pentothal to make David talk while using chloroform on Ann. This is one of the funniest sequences in the film. David doesn't reveal anything and STORCH tells him if he doesn't cooperate, they'll take his wife and put her on a submarine and he'll never see her again! When the Russians realize that the pentothal is starting to wear off and the FBI is hot on their heels, they abandon the three in the building's basement. When his wife regains consciousness, David, still coming off the pentothal, tells her he's going to jail for 180 years because it's against the law to have a fake FBI card. Then he asks her if she'll wait for him! When she asks him about the two platinum blondes, he tells her "They sing and dance- like rabbits." Angered, she runs out of the basement. Mike had been knocked out and when he and David "wake up", David, seeing turn valves, levers and utility pipes, thinks they're on board a Russian submarine! They decide to sink it by opening all the valves and pulling all the levers. As the basement floods with water, it shorts out the building's electrical system, causing the even-numbered floors to boil over and the odd-numbered floors to freeze! The film ends on a happy note as firemen break in to halt the flooding, the Russian spies are captured, and Ann, now knowing the whole truth of what happened, tells her husband, "Come on home, my darling." The last scene is a shot of Manhattan taken from Queens, showing a mushroom cloud of steam rising from the top of the Empire State Building! This is one of my all-time favorites and I give it a 10 out of 10. Don't miss this one. It's an absolute gem!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh are considered the stars of this film, Dean Martin is practically a co-star in this Curtis movie doing a lot of the heavy lifting like Jack Lemmon often does in Curtis movies. The film starts with Curtis wife (Leigh) catching him (a college professor) kissing a college coed. From here, comes Dean Martin playing a TV script writer, trying to write Curtis back into his marriage to Leigh before she fly to Reno for a quickie divorce.

    The cover story is that Curtis is an FBI agent kissing the young girl on assignment. Then it gets complicated when James Whitmore (a real FBI agent) becomes interested in what Curtis & Martin are pulling over. This is screwball comedy done by the writer of Alfred Hitcock's only real screwball comedy (Mr & Mrs. Smith).

    What is most interesting is that the premise of the film hasn't changed. Today, if you catch your mate kissing (or doing) somebody else, you need an explanation or else you dump them. Usually the dumping is still the first instinct. In the case of this film, Leigh catching Curtis might have predicted the near future as 2 years later, they would divorce.

    There are at least 2 Martin songs & a special cameo by Jack Benny in this one. An interesting effort though the FBI line does wear a little thin about halfway through. Still, it is a nice diversion & the director has previous experience in this type of movie, so the pace & everything feel right here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a genuinely funny movie. I noticed that another reviewer said it was "ridiculous". It's supposed to be wacky.

    Tony Curtis plays a college chemistry professor who is caught by his wife kissing (actually be kissed by) a young, female student. His wife (Janet Leigh) prepares to leave for Reno for a divorce. Curtis convinces his best friend (Dean Martin) -- a television writer -- to devise an excuse for the incident...and Dean comes up with the goofy story that they're both undercover FBI agents. Leigh not only falls for it, but gets very patriotic about it. The only problem is that the real FBI catches wind of the fakery, and so do real foreign agents. Dean and Tony end up in a floundering submarine...well, not really. How do they get out this one? It's all great fun and very tongue-in-cheek.

    Dean is so good here that he was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor, and the film was nominated for best comedy. Everyone in the film does what he/she needs to do, including James Whitmore and John McIntire as serious, but puzzled government agents. And, there's even a cameo by Jack Benny.

    Top notch comedy. I give it a rare "8"! And, BTW, the common DVD release, which also has "How To Save A Marriage And Ruin Your Life" has a great transfer to DVD.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I remember seeing this film around the time it first came out and looking at it again today, I had forgotten how wildly funny it was. In fact listening to my record collection, the thing I had remembered most about Who Was That Lady? was the very good title song that Dean Martin sung and had a record of which sold a few platters back in the day.

    But the film itself is a hilarious Cold War spy farce. It's based on a Norman Krasna play that ran for 208 performances on Broadway in 1958 with the slightly elongated title of Who Was That Lady I Saw You With. On Broadway the roles played by Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, and Dean Martin were done by Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, and Ray Walston.

    It all begins when chemistry professor at Columbia University Tony Curtis is caught by wife Janet Leigh in fast embrace with a foreign exchange student. She's back to their apartment and packing her bags for Reno. Curtis who really loves his wife is in a terrible state, what to do?

    Depending on how you look at it, long time pal Dean Martin is eager to help. He's a television writer for CBS and he's good with figuring out plot explanations. Mainly because Curtis is convinced Leigh just won't believe that the foreign exchange student was kissing him in gratitude.

    So what do these two knuckleheads conceive? That Curtis was kissing the girl in the line of duty because he's an undercover agent for the FBI. In fact they get an FBI card printed up and a gun from the prop department at CBS. And to further 'aid' the story, Martin gets Curtis to get four dots tattooed on his heel as he did back in his fraternity days. Isn't that what all FBI agents have.

    But when Leigh buys the story all too well and the printer goes to the real FBI when the card doesn't show up on the CBS program as Martin said it would, the fun really starts. Even a pair of chuckleheaded Russian agents played by Simon Oakland and Larry Storch actually believe Curtis is an FBI man working on a super secret project at Columbia.

    The biggest change from stage to screen had to be Dean Martin for Ray Walston. Certainly Dean is far more believable as the wolfish television writer, but there are some outrageous comedy bits that Martin has that I could definitely see Ray Walston doing on stage.

    This was the last screen pairing of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, within three years a Hollywood storybook marriage would be at an end. Janet has her innings in this film also especially in the restaurant tailing her husband and Martin who has set him up on a double date with the Coogle Sisters, a pair of foreign agents from Brooklyn. All I can say there is that there is no doubt that these two had to contain four weapons of mass destruction in the persons of Joi Lansing and Barbara Nichols.

    A lot of the problem is caused by FBI agent James Whitmore who after interviewing Leigh first, realized what was going on, but decided to hold off until he could get Curtis alone. Whitmore plays the part as a good foil for Leigh's ingenuousness. Of course Whitmore has to answer to his field office boss John McIntire who in turn has to answer to you know who in Washington.

    It all ends quite uproariously in the basement of the Empire State Building when Curtis and Martin think they're on a submarine and proceed to try and 'sink' it.

    Got to be seen to be believed.
  • A film that deserves to be better known. Adapted and produced by Norman Krasna from his 1958 Broadway play, as smoothly directed by George Sidney it adroitly transcends it's theatrical origins, with a plot that makes 'North by Northwest' look like Bresson; and a farcical climax that does for the Empire State Building what Hitchcock's film did for Mount Rushmore.

    Real-life husband & wife Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh make attractive leads (the latter looking even cuter than usual in Jean Louis), while Dean Martin is where he belongs leading the excellent supporting cast (as well as singing the title song), in which James Whitmore is a standout as the bona fide FBI agent whose ulcer is further aggravated by this particular assignment.
  • masercot24 October 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    This was not a great movie...

    There is only one likable character in the entire film and he doesn't show up until the middle of the movie. Until then, we have to content ourselves with a lecherous Dean Martin, an ANNOYING Tony Curtis and a sexy but tense Janet Leigh.

    The plot is simple: Man gets caught kissing student by wife; man makes up implausible story about being FBI agent; lie comes back to bite him later. The situations in this situation comedy are never that funny or interesting.

    The film almost gets funny near the end when the pair trash the basement of the Empire State building; but, not quite.

    But, the movie is worth watching just to see Larry Storch play a Russian torturer.
  • Kirpianuscus19 August 2019
    Like many others films of period, it is part of a specific context. And in this context can be seen. An easy comedy, mixing romance, FBI, friendship, spies and a kitty, Empire State Building and few lovely situations, today it has the gift to be a film with Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis and Dean Martin, charming, easy , great for old fashion flavors. And that is enough.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What a tremendous idea for a plot! "Who Was That Lady" has one funny scene after another. This is a very good comedy of story and happenings. One doesn't need crisp or witty dialog. Very much of that, and it would begin to compete with and lessen the effect of the antics and hilarious circumstances. Much of the comedy here is in innuendo and rather obvious build-ups. But it's so funny just because it happens as we imagine it will from the build-up. The scenes just give prolonged enjoyment to the hilarious situations.

    The cast all are OK or better. Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were real husband and wife at the time, and they sparkle together. Leigh's performance is tops as Ann Wilson, wife of Columbia University professor David Wilson. Dean Martin is Michael Haney, a long-time school chum and Army buddy of David. He has a TV show with access to all kinds of props. David faces a divorce because Ann walked in on a scene in his chemistry lab. A foreign exchange student was showing her appreciation to the professor with a big kiss. Michael comes to the rescue with the most unbelievable story.

    David was just kissing the student, a foreign agent, in the line of duty – because he and Michael are undercover FBI agents on the side. After Michael has his props man make a realistic FBI card for David, we have a hilarious scene in which the doubting Ann all of a sudden believes the story and then eagerly begins to fantasize over her husband's real identity. When the real FBI get wind of what is going on, the humor increases by leaps and bounds.

    James Whitmore is Harry Powell, the real FBI agent sent to monitor, harness and reign in the impostor FBI agents. The restaurant scenes in Lee Wong's restaurant left me in stitches. Then, just when new think the plot has run out, it take a turn and another hilarious scene put the duo in the basement of the Empire State Building which they think is a Russian submarine. They decided to sacrifice themselves and take the enemy sub down with them. The humor just keeps rolling. This is the best of situation comedy.

    Curtis and Martin both had good careers and made some entertaining movies. Martin's singing and recordings were a bigger part of his career. And Curtis, especially, could do dramatic roles. But for the most part, both men played in lighter comedies with less demanding roles. So, this is a pleasant surprise for the amount of humor.

    We must chalk that up to Norman Krasna who wrote the original play and then the screenplay for this film. One could envision other males, especially, in these roles. A number of other actors in Martin's role might have given the film more of a boost. But, it is very funny and good entertainment as it is.
  • schuelke-15 October 2010
    The movie defines the word "farce."

    Tony Curtis and Dean Martin are good performers, but the characters they play are pathetic. The FBI "thing" gets tiresome. Janet Leigh looks great, as usual. There are few really funny lines throughout the movie, but the viewer can easily get distracted during "dead zones" of absurd planning and plotting.

    The highlight of this movie occurs when the Coogle sisters (Barbara Nichols and Joi Lansing) enter the restaurant. The movie is worth watching if only for this one memorable and provocative scene.

    I have rated this movie a 6, but I almost gave it a 5.
  • This is a fairly well made comedy; engaging and fairly lightweight, it would be quite forgettable were it not for Janet Leigh's somewhat animated performance. It is not that the other leads did anything bad, they just didn't do anything exceptional here. Janet Leigh was at the time married to Tony Curtis and this would be the last of five films they made together. In a case of art imitating life (or vice versa) her marriage was almost certainly in trouble by this stage; she was divorced from Tony Curtis about two years later.

    I'm just watching this film again on UK TV, broadcast on 'Sony Movies Classic'. The transfer from celluloid to video is mostly OK, but my enjoyment is marred by the sound quality; they appear to have used some kind of auto-sound level control in the transfer somewhere, which has the effect of amplifying every tiny sound even when it is meant to be quiet. Another good film wrecked for posterity then...? Not quite, but almost.
  • Tony Curtis was actually married to Janet Leigh when they made this. and it starts with Professor Wilson (Curtis) smooching a student when his wife (Leigh) walks in. some really good jazz riffs on the piano, right at the beginning, until his wife walks in. Then, the wife is off to Reno for a divorce! his buddy Mike (Dean Martin) gives him bad advice, and now he's in more trouble than ever. Can they convince Ann that it was all part of his FBI mission? the usual misunderstandings, fights. but can she forgive him? this one is silly but fun. there's clearly a magic between the actors here. and how far will they all go with the gag before the REAL fbi guy shows up, and it all blows up? Larry Storch is a russian spy, a couple years before F Troop! and even a special cameo by Jack Benny. directed by George Sidney. made some great, huge films over the years. This one is silly, zany, suggestive, and fun. it was 1960, so they could be as naughty as they wanted by this point.
  • Chemistry professor David Wilson (Tony Curtis) gets caught by his wife Ann (Janet Leigh) kissing one of his students. She vows to divorce him. He is distressed and recruits his TV writer friend Michael Haney (Dean Martin) to come up with a story to tell his wife. Michael tells an outrageous tale and Ann surprisingly buys it all.

    Times have changed. A cheating husband is no longer so cute. In order to update this, the kiss needs to be shown as all student driven. Only then would anybody root for the couple to reunite. As a comedy of its day, one could see where the fake identity comedy gets its laughs. It works with what it has. Janet Leigh is nowhere near the blonde dimwit that she needs to be. Curtis and Martin are playing it with a wink and a smile. It is a comedy from another time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When a professor's wife (Janet Leigh) catches him (Tony Curtis) kissing a pretty student (only the bottom half of her seen), she prepares to leave for Reno for a quickie divorce. His rascal pal Dean Martin has a plan; He comes up with a false FBI card and makes Curtis claim that he was on assignment and the alleged student was really a Russian spy. OK, so far, if not totally believable, then predictable for a 1960's sex comedy. But when FBI man James Whitmore learns about the scheme, he gets involved, and before you know it, the overly chatty Leigh believes Curtis and Martin, who are "off on assignment" with two supposed Russian spies (Barbara Nichols and Joi Lansing) whom Martin simply wants to get together with as a "sure thing". Leigh and Whitmore follow them to the restaurant and before you know it (if you are actually following this), the two men are inside the basement of the Empire State Building up to their necks in water, thinking they are on a Russian submarine!

    Yes, I too was, like, "huh?", as I tried to find any amusement in this comedy of lies with two actors I like, a leading lady I am beginning to truly find annoying, two blonde bombshells who always add fun even to dreck like this, and one of the great character actors of all time (Whitmore) in a screenplay that Boris and Natasha of "Bullwinkle" would have turned down. Yes indeed, Curtis and Martin are as dumb as Moose and Squirrel, and that jealous wife Leigh never shuts up, even when happy, this movie simply becomes one of the most annoying of the sometimes ridiculous genre of 60's sex comedy influenced by "Pillow Talk".

    To add on that this was based upon a Broadway play and that it was directed by MGM musical veteran George Sidney ("Show Boat", "Kiss Me Kate") is even more perplexing. Then, being filmed in black and white, which makes no sense for a film like this, is another minus. Larry Storch and Simon Oakland are the two unfortunate character actors who do come on as Russian spies is something that you might have seen in a Russian spy storyline on "Gilligan's Island" or an episode of "Get Smart!" where at least you are expecting buffoonery. A major misfire altogether, not to mention the horrid title song that Martin must sing over the opening credits where Leigh discovers Curtis in the unforgivable embrace with a girl you never get to see, even the bottom half of her, after those credits end.
  • mishaa717 February 2011
    Right to be surprised when you find out that this screwball comedy with extravagant plot ridiculous and childish humor in 1960 was twofold nominated for film award "Golden Globe", namely in the categories of Best Actor and Best Film. If the first tape of George Sidney (Kiss Me Kate) is quite tolerant of his romantic escapades, foolish pretense heroes Dean Martin and Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh heroine's reaction to all this, the next story tape makes a roll in the direction of incongruity is happening that is not only not to laugh want to even see it's not worth it.

    It all starts with the fact that Columbia University chemistry professor David Wilson catches kissing a young student in the eyes of his wife, Ann. Wife confronts him and immediately wanted to divorce. His friend Mike comes up with his legend: "FBI agent and he kissed the girl, in order to fulfill its top-secret mission!" For the more convincing it also provides him a fake identity and a pistol. All work is done! Few fool about before her and took off with the blame, our heroes can go on a spree with other women. But here's the rub - Blessed David all took so seriously that starts everywhere to poke their nose in their "cause." She asked with great curiosity, how is service and what it's like to be always on the "knife edge".

    The culmination of the first half of the film (which still was a little funny compared to those that started later) will be involved in their game is not clear from emerging Soviet agents and quite shameless and totally ridiculous encompassing theme of the Cold War.

    Of course, the movie captivates enjoyable actors. Dean Martin and Tony Curtis lovely man, though not shine here with his skill, and Janet Leigh is incredibly charming, although it is in principle a very beautiful woman, it would be foolish to write this series dignity movie.
  • All this star power--what a waste. Doubtless in 1960 this seemed a passable comedy, even clever, and it didn't raise an eyebrow that a man's highest goal was to fool his wife into abject devotion so he could have "good home cooking" with "romance on the side" whenever he wanted.

    Dean Martin grates on contemporary taste in everything he ever did. Tony Curtis fares better and Janet Leigh suffers through a thankless role here.

    By all accounts Norman Krasna was an objectionable little man, out to wreak his revenge on women and on all the world for his own shortcomings. He earned his reputation as someone who could turn out scripts quickly and cheaply for notoriously rapacious producers. His style of 'humor' though simply hasn't aged well.

    Spare yourself this particular bit of painful and extremely unfunny misogyny.