The World of Henry Orient (1964)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Comedy of Manners  |   Release Date - Mar 19, 1964 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Michael Costello

George Roy's Hill's sprightly comedy harks back to a more innocent age in which the libido of teenage girls could be diverted into an infatuation with an eccentric pianist. Peter Sellers stars as Henry Orient, the unwilling object of the affections of two close friends (Tippy Walker and Merrie Spaeth); Orient, on the other hand, is doing his utmost to lure Tippy's more age-appropriate mother Angela Lansbury and any other willing woman into his bed. The film switches amusingly between Sellers' difficulty in keeping the girls at bay while he's conducting his farcical seductions, to their charming romantic fantasies about their personal god. As the plot develops, Hill also subtly insinuates a serious theme about parental responsibility without in any way hampering the film's comic spirit. Any opportunity to appreciate the genius of Sellers is worth the trouble, but the two young girls are equally delightful in their roles, and Lansbury is memorable as the selfish mother.