Sunday, April 08, 2012

COME FLY WITH ME (1963)

In a swinging Sixties variation on the tried and true plot of three women looking for love (from MOON OVER MIAMI to THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN), this film follows three stewardesses for Polar Atlantic Airlines on flights between New York, Paris, and Vienna. Pamela Tiffin is new and na├»ve and has a little trouble fitting in at first but quickly sets her sights for the handsome pilot (Hugh O'Brian), not aware that he's in the process of disentangling himself from an affair with a married woman (Dawn Addams) whose husband keeps lodging complaints against him with the airlines. Delores Hart, pictured, who tends to the first-class passengers, flirts with a dashing Baron (Karl Boehm) who turns out to be a smuggler who uses her, unwittingly, to get stolen jewels past customs. The slightly older Lois Nettleton attracts the attention of recently widowed businessman Karl Malden; she feels she would just be a pale copy of his wife and so she becomes a bit stand-offish, but finding out that he's a millionaire complicates matters. Despite the jaunty title tune, a Sinatra hit performed over the credits by Frankie Avalon, this isn't as much fun as its first few minutes would indicate. Part of the problem is a lackluster lead performance by Tiffin, a model turned actress who left the business in the 70s. All of the romantic plotlines have their fun moments, but all also turn serious, though only the Hart-Boehm story comes anywhere close to being compelling. Much of the action was shot on location which adds interest, but too much of this remains drab and predictable. This was starlet Hart’s last film before she left Hollywood to become a nun. James Dobson has a couple of fun scenes as a prank-pulling flight engineer. [TCM]

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