The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Manners  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The Yellow Rolls-Royce is running on empty, but it's filled with so many stars and looks so beautiful that most viewers won't mind that the ride doesn't really get them anywhere. Terence Rattigan's screenplay takes "formulaic" to a new height; there's very little here that's original or even moderately surprising, and the dialogue is at times painfully obvious. Still, formulas by nature come with a framework and set of rules that guarantee a certain response, and by layering the formula with such a wide array of talent, Yellow comes out ahead of the game. Not that anyone is giving a career-height performance, mind you, but almost everyone is good. The major exception is Jeanne Moreau, who is surprisingly wooden. Shirley Maclaine's dumb-blonde moll is a matter of taste; some will find her annoying, others terribly funny. But few would fault Rex Harrison, Ingrid Bergman, Omar Sharif, or George C. Scott, and even those who find the film not to their taste will probably find it hard to take their eyes off of a very sexy Alain Delon. The best performance probably comes from Art Carney, whose work is relatively low-key and nicely calibrated. Jack Hildyard's lush cinematography is another plus, and the entire production is glossy and shows where the money went. For those looking for pretty but mindless entertainment, Yellow is a good bet.