7.0/10
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76 user 58 critic

Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 22 December 1964 (Italy)
Jealous piano teacher Orville Spooner sends his beautiful wife, Zelda, away for the night while he tries to sell a song to famous nightclub singer Dino, who is stranded in town.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Billy Wilder (screenplay), I.A.L. Diamond (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Martin ... Dino
Kim Novak ... Polly the Pistol
Ray Walston ... Orville
Felicia Farr ... Zelda
Cliff Osmond ... Barney
Barbara Pepper ... Big Bertha
Skip Ward ... Milkman (as James Ward)
Doro Merande ... Mrs. Pettibone
Bobo Lewis Bobo Lewis ... Waitress
Tom Nolan Tom Nolan ... Johnnie Mulligan (as Tommy Nolan)
Alice Pearce ... Mrs. Mulligan
John Fiedler ... Rev. Carruthers
Arlen Stuart Arlen Stuart ... Rosalie Schultz
Howard McNear ... Mr. Pettibone
Cliff Norton Cliff Norton ... Mack Gray
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Storyline

Dino, the charming and lecherous Las Vegas singer, stops for gas on his way to Hollywood in Climax, Nevada. The oily gas station attendant is Barney Millsap, a would-be lyricist who writes pop songs with Orville Spooner, the local piano teacher. By disabling Dino's car, Barney contrives a scheme to have Dino sing one of their songs on an upcoming TV special. To entertain Dino, Barney contacts the village tart, Polly, employing her to pretend to be Orville's wife, Zelda, for a night. She doesn't like Dino, but does love being Orville's surrogate wife. Dino goes to a bar, where he meets the real Zelda, and they spend the night together while Polly spends it with Orville. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It happened in Climax, Nevada See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1964 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Bésame, tonto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,869
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a Peter Sellers interview in 1962, the original idea Billy Wilder had about casting was to co-star him with Frank Sinatra (in the role eventually played by Dean Martin), Marilyn Monroe (as Polly) and Shirley Maclaine (as Zelda). None of them ended up in the finished picture, of course. See more »

Goofs

After Orville's wife digs under his sweatshirt for a pen while Johnny is playing the piano, the sound of the piano distorts as if the sound tape slowed down for a second. See more »

Quotes

Dino: [on a cabaret stage, pretending to be drunk] I have an amazing mother, you know. She is 85 years old and she don't need no glasses.
[pauses]
Dino: She drinks right out of the bottle.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is an American version and a version released outside the U. S. of Kiss Me, Stupid. Deemed too sexually charged for U.S. audiences, the scene with Dean Martin and Felicia Farr in Kim Novak's trailer was reshot for American release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Crazy Mama (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm a Poached Egg
(uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Cliff Osmond and Ian Freebairn-Smith
(P) 1964
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Funny in Two Versions
27 June 2002 | by lzf0See all my reviews

Did you know that there are two released versions of this film? The European release is slightly different from the American release. I have just seen the European version in a sparkling print shown in New York. The tint of the American prints seem to be a darker than the European print. The biggest difference is the trailer scene between Dean Martin and Felicia Farr. Wilder was forced to re-shoot the scene by the American censors. In the European version, there is no doubt that Martin and Farr have a sexual encounter during their night together. This makes the film stronger, but the American scene is much, much funnier and we are left with a doubt as to whether Dean and the pianist's wife had a one night stand.

Seeing this film with an audience was a revelation! The jokes work 99% of the time and laughter filled the theater from the first frame until the last frame. I do feel that with Kim Novack and Ray Walston in pivotal roles, we are given the bus and truck company instead of the heavy hitters. What a film this would have been had these roles been played by Marilyn Monroe and Peter Sellers! Jack Lemmon would have been an excellent choice as well for the Walston role. Now Walston is fine; he is a skillful comic actor but he lacks a certain charisma which prevented him from becoming a top star. Novack, while never a great actress, actually plays the comedy quite well. It is a pleasant surprise. I have also been bothered by Ian Freebairn-Smith's dubbing of Walston's singing voice in the two songs "Sophia" and "All the Livelong Day". Walston had a musical comedy background and sang in the movies "Damn Yankees" and "South Pacific". Maybe the vocals were recorded while Peter Sellers was still on the project. Of course, Dean Martin is perfect in this film. He plays himself, or shall I say he plays his known caricature, and he does it beautifully. He proves what a fine comedian he has always been. Take that Jerry!


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