A film that proves anything is liable to be found floating around
in a Hollywood swimming pool. Long before Andrew Lloyd Weber got
his hands on this one, Billy Wilder treated us, among other
things, to Erich von Stroheim coaxing his ex Gloria Swanson
dementedly down the staircase in that fabulous sparkling gown.
What a wonderfully sick way to cast a film. C.B. was also lots
of fun, and much better than in his usual voice-overs where he
also tries to play God. By the way, the opening sequence of the
original version had the voice of Bill Holden posthumously
speaking not from the swimming pool, but from a slab in the
morgue while wearing a John Doe tag on his toe.
The preview audiences couldn't stop laughing and so Mr. Wilder,
who did not find this a laughing matter, cut the scene completely
and filmed the pool sequence. Moral? I guess morgues are funnier
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett