Index: The Notorious Landlady


The Notorious Landlady

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Four main dollops of delight here. (1) the world can’t have enough stylish, romantic, witty, caper movies. The Notorious Landlady is as fine an entry in the genre as you could hope for – excellent “did she or didn’t she” suspense, fab London locales, winsome romance, frothy dialog, and the funniest and most artful runaway wheelchair sequence ever filmed. (2) Jack Lemmon is, as always, good nature personified, a zephyr of good cheer (3) Sure, Kim Novak is foxy, flirty, etc… here she also directed her own costuming/wardrobe to wonderful effect. She alternates between slightly wacky fashionista and a survey of late 50’s pinup styles – two modes which give the flick a tony flair with a consistently sexy icing. (4) Fred Astaire delivers one of the great hand talk performances of all time. I can only surmise that since he has no actual dance sequences he sublimated his moves into his hands – they are constantly in motion and once you notice them they are mesmerising, little miniature dances that embroider every scene he’s in. Top shelf entertainment, folks.