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The Honey Pot (1967)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 21 May 1967 (USA)
In Venice, a millionaire hires an actor to help him prank three greedy ex-girlfriends into thinking he's dying and leaving his fortune to one of them.

Writers:

Frederick Knott (play), Thomas Sterling (novel) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... Cecil Fox
Susan Hayward ... Mrs. Sheridan
Cliff Robertson ... William McFly
Capucine ... Princess Dominique
Edie Adams ... Merle McGill
Maggie Smith ... Sarah Watkins
Adolfo Celi ... Inspector Rizzi
Herschel Bernardi ... Oscar Ludwig (scenes deleted)
Massimo Serato ... The Pretender (scenes deleted)
Hugh Manning Hugh Manning ... Volpone
David Dodimead David Dodimead ... Mosca
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Antonio Corevi Antonio Corevi ... Tailor (scenes deleted)
Cy Grant Cy Grant ... Revenue Agent (scenes deleted)
Frank Latimore ... Revenue Agent (scenes deleted)
Carlos Alberto Valles Carlos Alberto Valles ... Assistant Tailor (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," twentieth century millionaire Cecil Fox (Sir Rex Harrison) devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. Although the women are wealthy in their own right, all have good reason to covet his fortune. To assist him in his scheme, Fox hires William McFly (Cliff Robertson), a gigolo and sometime actor, to act as his secretary/servant. Fox is soon visited at his "deathbed" by the three former mistresses: Merle McGill (Edie Adams), a fading Hollywood sex symbol; Princess Dominique (Capucine), who once took a cruise on Fox's yacht; and Mrs. Lone Star Crockett Sheridan (Susan Hayward), a Texas hypochondriac who travels with an enigmatic nurse/companion (Dame Maggie Smith). As Fox and McFly act out the charade, things take an unexpected turn from comical farce to full-blown murder mystery. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You are cordially invited to enjoy a perfectly elegant case of murder!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joseph L. Mankiewicz' The Honey Pot See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,159
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph L. Mankiewicz's first script contained several novelties that never made it to the screen. Among them was a series of memos from a theater-chain owner (made to look as though they had been slipped in front of the projector) that commented on the action taking place. Also, there was to have been a running argument (resembling backstage squabbling) between a theater manager and the actor playing Cecil over such things as lines and cues. See more »

Quotes

William McFly: An actor's gratitude is, at best, a mirage.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in All About Mankiewicz (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Making Them Jump
24 July 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Taking an inspiration from his favorite Jacobean play, Ben Jonson's Volpone, fabulously wealthy Rex Harrison hires an out of work actor Cliff Robertson to play an elaborate practical joke on three women who've been part of his life. Robertson's to play his confidential secretary and assistant and to send them letters inviting them to Venice where Harrison is pretending to be dying in his palazzo.

To be sure these are three women to die for indeed. There is Princess Capucine with a title, but little else going for here as she becomes one of those permanent house guests on the Riviera. Then there's movie star Edie Adams originally from the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn whose best days as a film star are behind here and not enough money is coming in to keep up with her lifestyle spending. Finally there is the mysterious and earthy Susan Hayward. Imagine if you will Susan as Rachel Jackson, but with a malevolent twist and you've got her character. She's also a hypochondriac and travels with nurse/companion Maggie Smith.

The joke's proceeding great until Hayward winds up dead and the police in the person of Inspector Adolfo Celi is brought in. Joseph Mankiewica's literate script glides ever so gently from comedy of manners to murder mystery. And not like everyone of them hasn't got reason to do in Hayward. Just see the film and you'll know what I mean.

Sad that The Honey Pot failed to find an audience. Also sad that it was two years from the Stonewall Rebellion, Harrison's bisexuality was not more explicit. In regard to that read Hayward's comments on their lives together and the dialog exchanges between Harrison and Robertson.

In fact The Honey Pot does turn out to be an elaborate joke, but you have to see who winds up winners and losers in this very intelligent and witty film.


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