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LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON


DownGoesFrazier
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Sest possible. Sest possible, in fact, that they got all sorts of ideas from Love in the Afternoon.

 

It's a confounding film. I loved it the first time I saw it circa age 12. Recently, I rewatched it after 20 years and found it not so charming. The first half is sharp as hell, the second sputters, although the ending is timeless and Chevalier is not loathsome at all in it (a feat he nearly managed again in Gigi ).

 

But Cooper...Sigh...*that's the problem.*

 

It's a rare 50/50 film from Wilder, made during a brief stumble (I think this was right before or after The Spirit of St. Louis ) Like all Germans, he rallied and recovered, coming back with a vengeance in the following years.

 

Love in the Afternoon is a film you want to take and tinker with, re-work, and re-do, even within a year, and the failure of the film at the box office might have inspired Minelli to crib some ideas with the inent to polish, certainly Chevalier's roles are pretty similar.

 

In the end, I still like Afternoon better than Gigi, if only Louis Jordan had been in both something really special might've happened.

 

ps- or Horst Burkholtz (sic?) but we gotta do something about that name.

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Aug 27, 2012 10:34 AM

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I have a problem with this movie BECAUSE of Cooper. I like Coop, but feel he was horribly miscast in this one. I would be surprised if he didn't somewhat feel like a pedophile when shooting it.

 

 

I have the same problem with *The Fountainhead.* The novel has the main character starting out in his early 20's, and Coop was pushing 50 at the time it was shot. The studio did little if anything to have Coop look younger, and while Cooper had a LITTLE versatility, he could never have captured the character's self absorbed personality.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Image is everything. The Cooper you see in Love in the Afternoon is closer to the real man than, say, Jess Birdwell, the wholesome family man in Friendly Persuasion. While I think Coop seems to be perfect casting in the Quaker film, the reality is that he was also having an affair with Anita Ekberg while making it.

 

When his wife screamed at Coop how could he do that (after they had had a reunion following his Patricia Neal affair), his response was a weak, "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

 

My point, Cooper was one of Hollywood's legendary ladies men, though that was not a part of his screen image. Cooper was starting to experiment more and more with his screen image in his later films, and playing the playboy in Love in the Afternoon, whether Coop's fans like it or not, had more than a touch of the real actor about the role.

 

Afterward, in response to the film's critical response regarding the very same age gap that people question today, Cooper asked, words to the effect, was it really so incredible that a young woman would go for him? Well, the fact that he was Gary Cooper, movie star, must have helped him, of course, but Coop had always had, as they say, a way with the ladies.

 

I agree that Cooper looks quite old in this film, and that is rather jarring. But I also think that he brings some wonderful subtle touches to his performance. For an actor largely remembered by many for High Noon or Sergeant York, I find him credible as a sophisticated ladies man.

 

That doesn't mean that I don't prefer to watch him in the kind of roles for which he is best remembered but I think he gave it a quite credible shot as an actor. His aging appearance was his chief drawback in the role, not his abilities as a performer, once you got past the image thing.

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James Cagney said one of the reasons he retired was because working with Horst was such a terrible experience on Wilders "One,Two,Three" He hated working with him.

 

Wilder said he ask himself :When did Gary Cooper get so old. He had wanted Cary Grant ,who turned him down stating he was to old for his co star. Yet 5 or 6 years later him and Audrey starred in "Charade" and it was a huge hit. Grant had turned Wilder on two other occasions, He said no to "Six Graves to Cairo" and the part went to Franchot Tone and he said it again to Wilder in "Sabrina" and Bogie got the role.

Wilder said that was one of his biggest regrets, not working with Grant...

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The ending of LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON is one of the greatest endings of ANY romantic film,( although the rest of the film is mediocre). Audrey tearfully, breathlessly running alongside the moving train, lying to Cooper about all the big doings she will have in his absense, until Cooper finally yanks her onto the train. This may be Audrey's greatest moment in film.

 

Edited by: finance on Aug 27, 2012 4:03 PM

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"Love In The Afternoon" is Wilder's most Lubitsch-like film, and whether the reason the movie doesn't completely succeed is because Wilder couldn't fully replicate the "Lubitsch touch," or because times and tastes had changed to such a point that Lubitsch himself couldn't have managed such deftness, is difficult to determine.

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I've always loved this movie. Many times, I've seen it dismissed as a mindless romcom.

 

It's possible Wilder cast Cooper based on past perceptions, and it wasn't until they started filming that it hit him how old Cooper was.

 

My suspicion is that Grant didn't want to pair with Wilder because there wasn't enough money to go around. Grant and Wilder both knew the value of their names, and no movie could pull in enough to satisfy both of them.

 

My favorite parts are the opening narration, the police refusing to help, and her making a list of part suitors.

 

Someday I'm going to have to dig in and research the origin of that kind of opening. I know several movies and tv shows with similar narrations. I've always wondered how derivative vs original it is.

 

The breakdown of the number of hotel rooms, what percentage have similar activities, and that the Boy Scouts would have to be called in always leaves me laughing.

 

She might have been naive in many ways, but her anklet and her making a detailed list of old boyfriends shows she's a natural when it comes to using womanly wiles to twist a man around her finger.

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I think Grant turned down Sabrina (I think he turned down Roman Holiday as well) because he knew Audrey Hepburn would walk away with the movie (which she does) The story is built around her character.... He agreed to Charade after they made some changes to the script making Audrey chase him and taking jabs at his age............

 

I may be in the minority, but I like Cooper in Afternoon. (acting-wise) but he looks far too old for the part. That's the problem..........

 

Edited by: Hibi on Aug 27, 2012 5:11 PM

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