5 July 2017 | bensonmum2
Steve McQueen does comedy
Basic plot: A couple navy guys figure out a way to use the government's newest super-computer to predict numbers on a roulette wheel at a Venice casino. To do so, they must send signals to and from the computer on a ship in the harbor. The signals are intercepted by an Admiral who misinterprets their meaning. He believes the city of Venice is at risk of falling into enemy hands. Hilarity ensues.
I haven't agreed with a lot of ratings on IMDb recently, but usually, I'm rating films lower than the IMDb average. It's the opposite here. I seem to have enjoyed The Honeymoon Machine (what an unfortunate title) more than most. For me, the comedy worked almost flawlessly. I found myself entertained throughout and actually laughing out loud on several occasions. Comedy is highly subjective, so I realize that what works for me may not work for someone else and vice versa. The comedy here works for me because I found the writing witty and smart and the direction snappy. The movie has a good flow and never for a moment gets dull. It's a fun little movie.
But the real highlight is the acting. If I'm not mistaken, this was Steve McQueen's only comedy. I wish he had done more. He shows outstanding comedic timing. He's joined by a very capable cast that included Jim Hutton, Paula Prentiss, and Brigid Bazlen. I can't say I was familiar with Bazlen, but she really impressed. I'm shocked to see that her filmography is so short. The cast also includes memorable performances from Jack Weston and Dean Jagger. As usual, Weston steals every scene in which he appears. His drunk act may be un-PC today, bit I found it hysterical. As for Jagger, is there anyone who could play an Admiral or a General with the kind of command he exhibited? Really nice performances all away around.