Friday, 14 November 2008

The World of Henry Orient

Excellent 1964 comedy starring Peter Sellers, Paula Prentiss, Angela Lansbury, Tom Bosley, and Al Lewis. The film is adapted from the novel with the same title by Nora Johnson, daughter of the screenplay writer Nunnally Johnson who wrote the screenplay for The Dirty Dozen, The Grapes of Wrath, and Night People. Nunnally also co-wrote the screenplay to The World of Henry Orient with his daughter.

The relationships in the film are remarkably sophisticated, and it almost verges on a lighter-side Lolita. Marian (Played by Merrie Spaeth) "parents" are two middle aged women that seem to be in a gay relationship, although it isn't obviously stated it certainly is obviously implied. The other young girl, Valarie (Played by Tippy Walker) has a father (Played by Tom Bosley) who possibly might not be genealogical due to his wife's (Played by Angela Lansbury) constant affairs with young pianists.

The great thing about the film is that it isn't a moral story, you can read it several ways and its ending relates to the acceptance and happiness of young adolescents more than anything else. Peter Sellers is exceptional in this film, his performance is seamless, one of the perfect examples of Peter donning the "mask" he became so famous for.

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