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Boeing Boeing (1965) starring Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis, Thelma Ritter

Boeing Boeing

Boeing Boeing (1965) starring Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis, Thelma Ritter

Boeing Boeing follows the lives of American journalist Bernard (Tony Curtis) and his competitor Robert (Jerry Lewis) in Paris. To clarify, Bernard is juggling romances with three different women who are stewardesses. And have opposite schedules; Bernard’s “engaged” to all three! And juggles schedules so that they never meet. Until, of course, they do!

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Review

Boeing Boeing is a “sex farce” that centers around a U.S. newsman (Tony Curtis) stationed in France. First, he is engaged to three different beautiful stewardesses. That is to say, by keeping a careful schedule, he’s able to keep each of them ignorant of the other two. With the help of his suffering housekeeper (Thelma Ritter). However, he has no interest in actually marrying any of them. In short, he’s what we used to call a “cad”. He’s the protagonist of the story. But I frankly find it hard to root for him, since he’s essentially unlikable.

Thelma Ritter and Tony Curtis dragging one of his fiancees, who's been drugged unconscious

Meanwhile, two things conspire to throw a monkey wrench into his plans. First, the various airlines have upgraded their planes, so that the stewardesses are now arriving sooner. Secondly, a rival newsman (Jerry Lewis) invites himself to stay at the overcrowded apartment. With a touch of blackmail, of course. And he’s also unlikable.

Conclusion

I have to say, I don’t recommend Boeing Boeing. Neither of the two protagonists are likable, and as the ending of the movie demonstrates, neither has learned a thing.

Editorial review of Boeing Boeing courtesy of Amazon.com

German fiancee, Tony Curtis, and Thelma Ritter in Boeing Boeing
German fiancee, Tony Curtis, and Thelma Ritter in Boeing Boeing

From the stage, adapted for the screen. Bernard Lawrence, an American correspondent stationed in Paris, has tricked each of three women into believing she is his fiancée. They are British Vicky Hawkins, German Lise Bruner, and French Jacqueline Grieux. Each of them, stewardesses for their respective national airlines, has a different schedule, enabling Bernard to share his apartment with them one at a time. Bertha, the housekeeper, arranges the apartment into different styles of furniture and food for each of the women.

This arrangement is disturbed when the airlines switch to the new powerful jets, enabling the women to spend more time in Paris. Robert Reed, Bernard’s friend, arrives in Paris without a hotel room and stays in Bernard’s apartment. Robert soon realizes Bernard’s trouble and forces him to let him move into the apartment. Both men attempt to keep the women from discovering the arrangement, but after a series of incidents, they give up and flee in a taxi from the angry women. They discover that the driver, a pretty young woman, has two roommates who also drive the taxi on the other two shifts. Bernard begins to make plans for a new arrangement.

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