Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peter Hall - Perfect Friday (1970)

Vincent Canby, New York Times wrote:

Lady Dorset (Ursula Andress), a smashing blonde and an absolutely hideous housekeeper, wants money, or, at least, an attentive lover who is very rich and doesn't mind if she cheats a little. Her husband, the Earl of Dorset (David Warner), doesn't mind if she cheats a little. Neither does he mind a messy house nor even an alcoholic nanny, and he needs money for clothes and fornication. Mr. Graham (Stanley Baker), their friend at a nearby branch of the Metropolitan Bank of England, has become bored with his job. He has access to the money—and a plan.
The Dorsets and Mr. Graham form a relationship, united not only by greed and lust, but also by a code of dishonesty that is as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar. Their elaborate scheme to steal £300,000 from the Metropolitan Bank works, up to a point, as does their movie, Perfect Friday.
Peter Hall has made an intelligent and quietly funny film about three eccentrics, who are as attractively written as they are played. Miss Andress has something of an edge over her two co-stars, being able to appear as often in the buff as in a lot of rather crazy high styles. Her Lady Dorset also is given some of the film's most characteristic lines, as when she and Mr. Graham are sharing a picnic supper on a small hill overlooking an ordinary field, a highway, a construction crane and a housing development. She is such an inveterate liar that she can't help but say, quite seriously: "Isn't this a strange, pretty place?" As in life, it's not the big caper but the small deceptions that count in Perfect Friday.

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