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With: Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier, Van Doude, John McGiver, Lise Bourdin, Bonifas
Written by: I.A.L. Diamond, Billy Wilder, based on a novel by Claude Anet
Directed by: Billy Wilder
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 130
Date: 05/29/1957

Love in the Afternoon (1957)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Lubitsch Job

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Love in the Afternoon was Billy Wilder's most deliberate tribute to his hero Ernst Lubitsch, casting an aged Maurice Chevalier as a detective as Audrey Hepburn's father. Chevalier -- a veteran of five Lubitsch films -- plays a detective, Chavasse, who usually catches cheating spouses. When a jealous husband threatens to kill one of her father's clients, cellist Ariane (Hepburn), intervenes, and meets one of the world's most notorious womanizers, Frank Flannagan (Gary Cooper). It's quite long, Hepburn sports one of her worst hairstyles, and Cooper and Hepburn's glaring age difference (28 years) is distracting, but this is a wonderful, charming romantic comedy nonetheless. The dialogue, co-written by I.A.L. Diamond, sounds like pure Wilder, but when he attempts silent sequences (such as Frank wheeling a cart of drinks over to his gypsy violin band) he comes close to Lubitsch's grace. Hepburn made the even better Funny Face the same year.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video's 2002 DVD comes only with a trailer.

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