(1967)2.5Craig ButlerBased upon a play that was based upon a book that was based upon Ben Jonson's classic play Volpone, The Honey Pot was writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's follow-up to the ill-fated Cleopatra. Although considerably shorter than that 1963 marathon, The Honey Pot suffers from being at least a half hour too long, and Mankiewicz too often allows the film to slip into neutral when it needs to be moving forward. All of this makes the film seem somewhat labored rather than the smooth and frothy farce that it needs to be. That said, the screenplay is well plotted (if occasionally confusing), and although the dialogue lacks the snap and flare associated with classic Mankiewicz, it still has a fair share of good one-liners, and when one of his zingers hits its mark, it really scores. Rex Harrison is in fine, smooth form; he is slyly, devilishly charming, and his unique way with sophisticated comedy is showcased to excellent effect. Maggie Smith gives a lovely, understated performance that contrasts beautifully with Harrison's, and Edie Adams is a great deal of fun as the supposedly devil-may-care film star. Of the others, Capucine is a little bland and Susan Hayward a little much. Visually, the film is gorgeous, with a mansion that must be seen to be believed and exceptional Gianni Di Venanzo cinematography that beautifully captures the look and feel of Venice.
Cecil Fox (Rex Harrison) summons his three former mistresses to his deathbed for a final visit in this engaging crime comedy. Princess Dominique (Capucine), fading movie star Merle McGill (Edie Adams), and Texas millionairess Mrs. Sheridan (Susan Hayward) all travel to pay their respects to the supposedly dying Fox. William McFly (Cliff Robertson) is the personal secretary and gigolo employed by Fox to lure the women to his estate. When Mrs. Sheridan is found murdered, Inspector Rizzi (Adolfo Celi) investigates her mysterious death in this feature highlighted by several twists and turns. Alternate titles are Mr. Fox Of Venice and Anyone For Venice?.