Sunday, July 17, 2016

SS United States Silver Screen Review: No Way to Treat a Lady (1968)

"Morris, look at this apartment! I love it! It's so Jewish!"
               - Quote from No Way To Treat a Lady

Tonight's the night we watch No Way to Treat a Lady! So what is this dark comedy about? The NYC police are out to catch a strangler murdering ladies. The uncatchable fiend has a different accent, costume, and persona every murder. You never know who he will be next!

I made the mistake of reading the book that the movie was based on before seeing the movie. As is the case with so many other adaptations, the book is better. The book was written by William Goldman. It was one of his bestsellers before he wrote The Princess Bride. I felt a lot of the comedy and suspense fell away in the movie adaptation. They also took out a major character and changed the ending to be happier. It was disappointing. It lost some surprises, suspense, and bold character action/choices.

The acting was pretty good. I didn't know any of the actors before I saw this movie. Rod Steiger, Lee Remick, George Segal, all terrific. Eileen Heckart stole the movie as a Jewish mother of Morris, the NYPD Detective in charge of the strangler case. Doris Roberts (who I did know of before watching this movie, but didn't recognize while watching) shows up briefly as a woman with orange hair.

The book didn't mention any boats, so I did not think the ship would impact the movie much. I was correct.

Morris takes his girlfriend onto his "yacht," which turns out to be NY Police Boat No. 1. On their cruise in his "yacht," they pass Luxury Liner Row.

They pass a couple ships. You can see the RMS Queen Mary at Cunard's dock. Moored to the end of the dock is the tugboat Theresa Moran (Still in service, now named Cape Henry). Shortly after, the stern of the SS United States rolls by. Her forward funnel peeks out in the second shot of the couple's first kiss.

How can you hide a ship with funnels like those?
Still from No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) 

And then they sail away, and onto another scene.

The Movie: The book was better. 2.5/4
SS United States: Sailed by, seen in pieces. 2/4

Sources used:
No Way to Treat a Lady IMDB

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