In the Cool of the Day (1963) Poster

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9/10
I happen to love it
Arcturus198025 March 2013
If ever there was an underrated film, In the Cool of the Day is it. I am not one to dismiss it as a soaper, nor do I share in the silly fixation on Jane Fonda's period hairstyle, which becomes her to my mind. As I see it, the film not only bears reasonable scrutiny, I would not change a thing about it.

The age-old theme of loyalty clashed with forbidden love never stales so long as it is done right, as is the case here. More than an intelligent study of sexual propriety, the film is an ode to traveling, something I might just do indefinitely if only I could. The four principal characters are well-established. Jane Fonda's Christine Bonner and Peter Finch's Murray Logan share an affinity for Greece that is evinced most compellingly. Greece itself is very well shot by Peter Newbrook, who did second unit photography on David Lean's visually amazing Lawrence of Arabia.

So, it's a match made in Graecophilic heaven. Unfortunately, he is married to the contemptibly cantankerous Sibyl (Angela Lansbury), and she to the doting, tiresomely prudent Sam (Arthur Hill). Christine's overbearing self-indulgent mother is another fly in the ointment. What's more, Christine has a serious lung condition.

All in all, a most satisfying little known film with an average rating of 5.0 on 215 votes. Frightful luck as to the few who have seen it, perhaps. It's a very small sampling, so give it a go.

Oh, and IMDb, a cover picture would be nice. Please and thank you.
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A Smoking Film
cutterccbaxter24 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I found Jane Fonda's hair rather interesting in this film. It provided a nice distraction from the narrative which plodded along at a rather languid pace. The actors smoked a lot in the film too. I mean in older Hollywood films actors smoked a lot, but they really lit up in this one. In almost every scene Peter Finch was lighting up and puffing away. It's almost like he knew there wasn't much going on dramatically so he might as well smoke a cigarette until the scene was over. I thought for sure Peter Finch was going to die of lung cancer, but then Jane ends up getting really sick, which was okay because that meant the movie was almost over. On the positive side I did enjoy the shots of Greece.
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4/10
All choked up and nowhere to go
CanadianBill5 August 2014
If fashion and Mediterranean scenery tend to dazzle you about a movie then you'll likely be all up in the clouds dancing over this one. For the rest of us who desire somewhat more from our hours invested in a movie, In-the-Cool-of-the-Day falls far short of the mark I'm afraid.

It's your basic "Two people married to other people fall in love on a romantic European trip, having been put together alone due to circumstances and also the situation in each of their marriages." In Fonda's character's case she's simply not in love with her doting and rather 'doormattish' husband. In Finch's character's case his wife (Landsbury) is a miserable joy-killing shrew of a woman who is playing ever the martyr and guilt-tripping him over a past tragedy in their lives. While Fonda's husband can't make the trip, Finch and Landsbury end up fighting and she walking out, leaving he and Fonda to continue on alone.

The back story on Fonda's character is that she has been sickly since early childhood, having had multiple surgeries on her lungs and nearly dying. In any normal family of the time that would mean the only sensible course of action, that being no one smokes near her. But in THIS film the production (writers, director, producer, etc) all thought it was no big deal to just have all involved puffing away like steam engines including Jane's character herself.

While the view on smoking was a little different back in '63 than it is today it is still fairly unthinkable that a physician would raise major concern over a trip by car through the mountains due to a little rain yet have no quarrel whatsoever about a girl with serious respiratory ailments smoking like a chimney.

As for the ending all I'll say is I found it abrupt, unsurprising, and disappointing, Fonda herself is absolutely gorgeous. The vistas and views of the countryside are spectacular. The acting is decent. The story and plot is where this film falls flat.

4/10
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"In the Mood for a Nap"
Poseidon-325 June 2002
This is a pretty strange little film about an illicit affair between a married man and his best friend's wife. Finch is the man, a publisher, who finds himself drawn to friend Hill's much younger wife. Finch's wife is a virtual shut-in, played by Lansbury. She suffers from the effects of a car wreck (shown in flashback, in which she looks OLDER than present day!) Fonda is the young lady married to Hill who suffers from emotional problems, lung difficulties and the ugliest hair ever to hit the silver screen. She is downright scary in this film! Her make-up is done in such a severe way and her hair (a hideous "fall", actually) is so unflattering and Orry-Kelly decks her out in an increasingly bizarre set of clothes and atrocious hats that the film becomes a sort of fashion horror movie! Fonda, so attractive in the films before and after this one is made to look like a total freak. At least the unflattering, ugly clothes are something to focus on because the story and the romance between her and Finch is deadly dull. The one bright spot is Lansbury. Though her character is foolish and unreal, she steals every scene she's in, looks terrific (though she keeps obsessing about a "scar" which is almost completely impossible to see!) and when she exits the film, she takes the life right out of it. She gets off a few wisecracks and displays a sexier figure than she often got to show. Cummings is wasted in a very small role. Apart from her first scene, she gets virtually nothing to do or say. The film is watchable for it's Grecian scenery and for the camp value of watching the May-December maneuverings of Finch and Fonda. The music score is exceedingly annoying and the short running time often feels like twice that. Sherwood appears very briefly...the film definitely could have used more of her.
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3/10
Fonda in exotic wig provides the only (unintentional) laugh
moonspinner5522 February 2004
Infidelity on the Mediterranean as a vacationing man and woman, married to others, fall for each other while touring Athens under the eyes of their respective spouses. What they used to call a "windswept soaper", with handsome travelogue footage from Greece used to bolster a wayward story. Performances are mostly dull, unusual with such a good cast: Peter Finch looks sleepy as he attempts to mediate a rift between friend Arthur Hill and wife Jane Fonda; she's a flirt and ensnares Finch, much to the concern of Peter's wife, Angela Lansbury (who manages to give the film a little goose). Bewigged Fonda is meant to be alluring and faintly dangerous, but her exotic Asian-styled hairpiece instead makes her look like the night hostess at Madame Chow's. Barely-released melodrama from John Houseman Productions and MGM recently gained some recent notoriety for being named by Fonda as the least-favorite of her own movies, although it's really no more terrible than, say, "Tall Story" or "Period of Adjustment". *1/2 from ****
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5/10
Romantic Story
whpratt123 August 2007
If you like Jane Fonda, you will enjoy her acting in this picture and also how very young looking she looked in all her fancy looking clothes. There is also fantastic photography through out Greece and the ancient ruins, also a nice Greek dance with Peter Finch and Jane Fonda. Murray Logan, (Peter Finch) is a successful author married to Sybil Logan, (Angela Lansbury) and they are a very unhappy couple because of a tragic event in their early marriage. Sam Bonner, (Arthur Hill) is a very good friend of Murray and one day he meets his wife, Christine Bonner, (Jane Fonda). As soon as this couple look at each other, you can see in their eyes an outstanding attraction and this is what makes this film a triangle of love and romance and plenty of fights.
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5/10
Angela Lansbury was right
blanche-23 October 2015
It "wasn't very good."

Jane Fonda, Peter Finch, Angela Lansbury, Arthur Hill, and Constance Cummings star in "In the Cool of the Day" (1963.

I have no idea what the title means. It's one of those titles like "Fever in the Blood." Actually, "Fever in the Blood" would have been better.

Murray Logan (Finch) plays a publisher who falls in love with his friend Sam's (Arthur Hill) young wife Christine (Jane Fonda). She is a fragile woman both physically and emotionally, suffering from a lung disorder.

Part of her problem is her mother (Constance Cummings); she is afraid of her and hates to be around her. Christine's husband worships the ground she walks on, but at this point, they are separated and she is living with her father (Alexander Bonner), and they meet at his house.

Murray's wife, Sibyl (Angela Lansbury) is a recluse, due to a horrid automobile accident she and Murray were in which killed their little boy. Murray feels responsible so he puts up with her, though she's a nasty woman.

Sam makes certain promises to Christine about the way she can live her life -- he's very suffocating -- and she desperately wants to see Greece. She invites Murray and Sibyl to accompany her and Sam. Surprisingly, Sibyl accepts.

The Grecian scenery is stunning.

The movie overall moves like molasses, and it was difficult to invest in any of the characters.

As far as Fonda's hair - it was distracting. It's also the way women wore their hair in the '60s. I didn't mind her clothes, which some have mentioned. She was still quite beautiful.

The performances were okay - for me, only Lansbury and Cummings provided any spark. Fonda's performance was a little mannered for me. I can never get over the fact that Arthur Hill was the original George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf because he's the same in every single thing I've seen him in. Peter Finch didn't register a ton of emotion.

The ending was very clichéd.

I just found it a waste of good talent and beautiful locations.
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This is NOT the bookend to IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT
UNOhwen9 September 2011
I give it a one, just for Jane Fonda's 'hair' (a lot of us are obsessing about it...), which - seems to be what's most interesting in a very dreary, creaky RomDram from '63.

I don't know the story of where the title a actually came from, but, the fact that it's 'opposite' (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT) titled film was such a well-received film came out AFTER this (as well as the book that film's based on) is probably one of the more interesting aspects going on in it's making.

In her interview with Robert Osborne (PRIVATE SCREENINGS), Angela Lansbury said that it was a 'difficult' project for her, and, while she did her best, she didn't think it was 'that good.'

Thus was an early vehicle for the young, gorgeous Fonda. She was still not fully comfortable on camera, and it shows. The film tries to showcase her as the typical 'sexy, young girl,' this time playing married (to the older Arthur Hill), who shares 'common interests' with the also married - to Angela Lansbury - Peter Finch.

ICD tries to be too many things, but fails in them all.

This was put out at a time in Hollywood before the 'revolutions' of sex, politics would play out in the real world. MGM - desperately trying to find a direction to navigate this tidal change - ends up with a film that might've been 'ahead of it's time' had it come out a few years earlier, but, as the grounds were already trembling, MGM ends up behind-the- times, with a product that - besides the natural beauty of Greece (where this was shot on location) feels very forced and dated.
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7/10
none
cjp4921 December 2005
I thought the movie was unique if not wonderful, being only ever so slightly cliché in its ending. I could not, however, tell if the style in which the film was shot was meant to be unusual and fresh or if this achieved addition to the film was simply an accident brought on by clumsiness. As for questions concerning the title, I would recommend the book of Genesis (to be found in the Bible for all of those who don't know) where Adam walked with God in The Cool of the Day. I don't have a Bible handy at the moment so I will not quote you can read this for yourself. Fonda reminds me of a young Katharine Hepburn in this film. She seems unsure of herself, probably because this was one of her first major roles, and like the Great Kate, in her very early films, she uses a higher voice than is generally attributed to her in this early film. It is not until a few years later in each career that we hear those majestic deeper voices that command so much respect from audiences.
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So What Does the Title Mean ??
marshallmccoy23 June 2002
Saw this one on Turner today- with a great cast: Peter Finch, Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury- all Oscar people (I think)- it was TERRIBLE ! First off, the title seems to mean nothing whatsoever... Angela carps, Jane flirts... they are off to Greece on the flimsiest of pretenses (how dumb can Angela be ?)-- then the same cat/mouse game continues-- lots of good shots of Grecian ruins, but a travelogue would have been a lot more honest use of celluloid !
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Piffle, but not even entertaining piffle.
oyoukid17 October 2006
No wonder this wasn't even listed in my comprehensive special edition video book covering thousands of movies ~ not even as a dog. Since yesterday, 10/16/06, was Angela Lansbury's 81st birthday they featured her movies on Turner Classics. Evidently Jane Fonda must still have some pull with Ted, because her performance didn't warrant viewing; it made ME uncomfortable watching her. Angela, in a recent interview, mentioned her disappointment with that movie. No surprise! That's 90 minutes I'll never get back. However, I made a lovely cauliflower au gratin and a pumpkin pie while the movie played on our kitchen TV (I kept thinking something would happen or the story would get better; it didn't).
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3/10
Lousy Soap Opera
JasparLamarCrabb16 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A preposterous film featuring Jane Fonda as a sickly débutante enamored with older man Peter Finch. Through a serious of coincidences that only really occur in glossy soap operas, she ends up in the Greek Isles with Finch AND his wife (Angela Lansbury). Seldom have so many great actors been so bad in one film. Fonda is dying of something lung-related. We know that because every few minutes she's winded and has to stop, make a fist and appear bug-eyed. Finch is OK but Lansbury is really wasted in a cliché role (the dejected, self-loathing wife). The mixture of real and studio bound Greek scenery is laughable. A really lousy soap opera. Produced by classy John Houseman.
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4/10
What were they thinking?
Jonathan-1830 August 2000
I never heard of the movie, and saw it because of Jane Fonda's name. This is not only boring and uninteresting, there isn't even a nice sentence in it. The two walk around, his wife is a pain, her husband is numb as we are. They walk through Greece. They almost have an accident. His son died in an accident. Wow.

Terrible movie. 89 minutes? Seemed like much more. I don't know how I saw the whole thing.
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8/10
LOVED the Hairdo!
Jtsobe24 October 2009
After reading the reviews on this movie I HAD to chime in on it, because I saw this movie for the first time just a few days ago. Coming from someone is is NOT a Jane Fonda fan, I completely disagree with most reviewers thus far! I found the movie to be VERY watchable, and the storyline to be very romantic and somewhat bittersweet. But most of all, when I first turned the TV on I thought I was watching a much more recent movie by the style of this beautiful young girl. I was amazed to see that it was a 1963 movie, and even more amazed to see that it was Jane Fonda. As I mentioned, I have NEVER been a fan of Jane Fonda, but I never saw her so damned cute as in this movie. The other reviewer must be used to (and prefer) that super puffed-out hair JF that some of us have grown to dislike over the years (the look I cannot stand!). This gorgeous young lady with the "Bob" hairdo AND her clothing were very good-looking (to say the least) and took me by complete surprise. Also, her acting in this was not the typical Jane Fonda, but rather a non-pretentious, more innocent, Audrey Hepburn style of acting. I wish she had remained like this.

Also, the "woman" (I wish I could use another word) that Peter Finch was married to was NOT like that as result of the car accident. The car accident (and loss of the child) was a result of HER. It was brought up in a dialog between Peter Finch and an older woman who knew him before he was married, that Sybil was like that from the start. But Peter was sucked into a relationship with her, and she became pregnant as a result. Peter stayed with her, under the HOPE that she would change. But it just became worse, and culminated in the death of their son (because of her badgering him while driving!). Angela Lansbury played the roll so well you can really feel Peter's pain through the TV.

And yes. The Greek scenery was beautiful. Makes me want to take a vacation there. I enjoyed this movie a great deal.
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10/10
Wonderful Movie with Awesome Locations & Outstanding Actors.
teenietalk21 December 2011
The story line on the movie is a bit predictable but very charming! The locations were breathtakingly beautiful. The wardrobe for the movie was designed by the great Orry-Kelly and was IMPECCABLE. Jane Fonda's character was quite subdued & as such she wore classic, lovely outfits that were appropriate for her character. I think the styles of her clothing were beautiful and worked well with the locations where the movie was shot. The character that Angela Lansbury played had clothing designed for her character as well. She obviously had some insecurities so it makes sense that she would compensate for this by wearing outfits with lovely colors & fabrics that would flatter her awesome figure. I love this movie & Highly Recommend it!
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6/10
Stepping Into Margaret's Shoes
bkoganbing21 December 2010
Peter Finch and Jane Fonda play a pair of unhappy marrieds who run off to Greece for a fling in In The Cool Of The Day. With this film Jane takes on a role back in the day would have been played by her father's first wife Margaret Sullavan who was always playing tragic heroines in the glory days of Hollywood.

Fonda plays a sickly woman much like Sullavan in Three Comrades. But that doesn't mean she doesn't want to live and experience life. Her husband Arthur Hill is overprotective as she sees it, treating her like a hothouse plant. As for Finch he's married to a bitter and reclusive Angela Lansbury.

As Finch is a Hellenophile it's off to Greece for them where we experience In The Cool Of The Day's biggest asset, colorful location cinematography of some of Greece's best attractions. The second thing In The Cool Of The Day has going for it is the title song written by Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis who got an Oscar three years earlier for Never On Sunday. Nat King Cole's recording of it over the title credits is still warm and glowing.

But who gave Fonda that hairdo for this film ought to have been canned. Al Bundy used to call Marcy Darcy, sergeant Carterhead for her do on Married With Children and this one kind of reminds me a bit of it.

If you like the players or are a Hellenophile than you should In The Cool Of The Day.
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1/10
This film is so bad it's MST3K worthy.
vedadalsette27 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Fonda is a rich young woman with health problems and a helicopter husband and family. She has these bad lung problems yet the family never tells her to stop her chain-smoking. On her trip to Greece with another couple, she chain-smokes and drinks a lot. ***SPOILER (not that it matters in this film): Is anyone surprised she dies in the end?***

Finch is her love interest. He sleepwalks in this role--not his character but the actor. The guy doesn't give crap about this film, and if he doesn't, why should we? Angela Lansbury is the most interesting character in this contrivance and is the only reason for the 1 star. Unfortunately, she bows out of the action too soon, leaving us with nothing to watch.

I love me my melodrama, but this isn't the good stuff. Fonda cries about how her mother has convinced her she's "unable to love." That mysterious, elusive condition found only in melodramas could have been put to good thematic use here (as was done also by Fonda in the cheesy-but-fun melodrama The Chapman Report). I guess the subject was too "distasteful" to play up in this "classy" film.

If you like seeing Peter Finch do nothing, Jane Fonda smoke, and Angela Lansbury play the ultimate mean girl, this is your film. I'm not watching it again until the MST3K crew reviews it. I wouldn't be surprised if they already have.
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6/10
All the unhappy people
marcslope26 December 2017
Travelogue-tragedy-soap opera set in Greece, London, and New York, all of which look luscious in the wide-screen color photography of 1963. And jeez, what a collection of unhappy principals. Peter Finch, a nice-guy British publishing executive, is miserably married to Angela Lansbury, a contemptuous shrew who suffered the effects of a bad deed of his years before and won't ever let him forget it. He crosses the pond to help out buddy and co-worker Arthur Hill, who's also miserable, being unable to please his much younger, fragile wife, Jane Fonda, who also suffers from being the daughter of self-centered, selfish Constance Cummings. She and Finch respond to each other's temperaments and mutual love of Greece, and they're off to Athens and Mykonos and other well-photographed spots, along with Lansbury, who continues to make Finch miserable and pursues an affair, as things heat up between him and Fonda. For a soap, it's unusually literate, and also unusually visual, what with all the island-hopping, and I find it compelling, if a downer. All the actors are good, and Fonda and Lansbury are rather better than that. It's compromised by a an abrupt, depressing ending, and the MGM orchestra saws away more than it has to. But I, too, am surprised to find it has only a 5.0 rating on the IMDB, and I'd urge fans of literate melodrama, and 1960s time capsules, to give it a look the next time TCM shows it.
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8/10
Entertaining international glamour.
nickrogers19696 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The story is not what I expected, which is good, but it left me feeling there was a lot missing that could have made it more satisfying. The actors dealt with the soapish material very well and that is what made me like the film. The characters they played were either appealing (Finch and Fonda) or entertaining like Lansbury.

Now to the plot, so look out for spoilers ahead! Fonda falls for Finch and eventually so does he for her. It just takes ages for them to even kiss once! In between there is a lot of beautiful travelogue showing spectacular views of Greece. The three leads wander about gazing at the sights and Finch and Fonda never kiss while Lansbury is aware of the attraction. Why did they bring her along if they wanted to be alone together? She finally leaves on her own accord and they still don't kiss until much later. Then Fonda leaves for no reason, goes back to her dull husband and dominating mother that she wanted to flee. Then she dies. Finch never has any confrontations with either his wife or Fonda. The film ends.

The film consists entirely of lovely views of Greece, Lansbury bitter remarks and Finch's and Fonda's longing. That's it for the plot. It's all very entertainingly presented until the abrupt ending just ruins the picture.

It's interesting to see how the producers wanted to invoke the scandalous Liz Taylor/Richard Burton romance from that era in the film. Fonda wears a Cleopatra wig for the entire film, Finch resembles Burton and speaks with a British accent and they walk among Greek ruins by the Mediterranean sea. Fonda can bring life to any film and I have never seen her so glamorous as she is here.
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2/10
A Sixties Movie
thehennalady24 August 2016
The film is such a old movie cliché: Rich, sickly young woman married to an older man who neglects her. She gets involved with his good friend whose wife is a nutjob snob. The entire concept is one that is hard to wrap one's head around in the 2000's. First, maybe everyone should stop smoking and drinking and Fonda's character should take some vitamins and see a therapist about her mother. Throughout the entire film, a relative kept saying "rich people" explaining to herself the crazy that was going on. I felt compelled to correct her and say, "No, Hollywood on a bad hair day." Could not take my eyes off of Fonda's wig. 2 Stars for being able to see young Jane Fonda and Greece from another era, though.
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5/10
Affair Wilts In The Cool Of The Day
CitizenCaine25 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A backdrop in Greece significantly helps this unsuccessful soaper depicting an affair between Murray Logan played by Peter Finch and Christine Bonner played by Jane Fonda. Fonda is married to Arthur Hill, dutiful but overprotective Sam Bonner who gets assistance from his good friend Murray Logan in finding Fonda. Finch is married to a physically scarred Sybil Logan played by Angela Lansbury who clearly is no longer in love with her husband. Hence, the floodgates open and Finch and Fonda are off to vacation in Greece with Fonda's mother Constance Cummings pestering to find out what's going on.

Despite Fonda's enthusiasm in the role, there is absolutely zero chemistry between her and Finch, and Fonda's ridiculous hairdo is distracting at times. The colorful location footage does help, which includes the Acropolis in Athens. Director Robert Stevens is more known as a television director and it shows in the pedestrian execution of the script written by Meade Roberts, which may have been an attempt to portray a Greek tragedy in its natural setting. The story was based on Susan Ertz' novel. John Houseman produced. The supporting cast is pretty much wasted, including Constance Cummings as Fonda's mother. Nat King Cole sings the title tune. ** of 4 stars.
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