9 March 2005 | laffinsal
This late-period William Castle film is one of his pallid attempts at comedy. It's amiable, yet mediocre in its delivery. Sid Caesar (during one of the lesser parts of his career) plays the scapegoat for Robert Ryan's gang of hoods. Looking at the cast of this film, as well as the original publicity material, it's obvious that Castle was trying to make his own version of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". In addition to Caesar, there is also Dom Deluise, Kay Medford, Godfrey Cambridge, Marty Ingels, and Richard Pryor in his first film. Arlene Golonka is also present as the ditzy young dancer in the ridiculous feather get-ups.
The main problem with this film, is that the two main actors are totally unlikable. Ryan is unnecessarily mean to Caesar, and Caesar in turn, is too much of a wuss. The other actors all seem so oblivious to what's happening...like they are all doing their own stand-up routines instead of furthering the story. The script is OK, I think Castle just didn't know how to direct comedy.
On the plus side, though, this film has a very catchy theme song, composed by Vic Mizzy, and a funny sequence where a woman tries talking to a mannequin at a bus stop. It's a slight step up from Castle's "The Spirit is Willing", but that's not saying very much.