8 March 2006 | manuel-pestalozzi
Alan King rules - the quintessential tycoon
King is a really great comedian, virtually unknown to audiences in Europe. In this late screwball" comedy he plays a tycoon, and for this kind of movie part he sets a mark nobody has surpassed. He brings the right mix of competence and freakishness to the role. He is a ladies man, a hypochondriac (goes well together), is cunning and can be utterly ruthless and cruel. Of course, the character has a great egotistical mind - and yet he is oddly likable. There's more: The movie also includes great performances by Keenan Wynn as competing tycoon and also by Myrna Loy, famous screen beauty of the Golden Age of Hollywood. She plays King's loyal secretary and surrogate mom. Ali McGraw is kind of beautiful but seems to be made of granite (the set design of her ritzy apartment is beautiful and interesting, though), Peter Weller's talents are wasted here.
This movie really boasts many, many memorable lines. The character played by Wynn tries to convince the tycoon that he should donate for a wing for special diseases of a hospital. This makes King quip I can't wait to see those poor guys die of special diseases in my wing!" Also great are the final sequences in which the main character stays in hospital because of an imaginary heart attack. His little, stumpy body lies in a white shroud on an examining bed while he berates the high priced specialists standing around him, telling them in a choked voice that he knows exactly what's wrong with him and they should better read the f***ing literature"! People are like that! Life is like that! It's great to be able to laugh about it sometimes.