One Touch of Venus comes to the screen as a pleasant comedy fantasy. Ava Gardner steps into the top ranks as the goddess, Venus. Hers is a sock impression, bountifully physical and alluring, delivered with a delightfully sly instinct for comedy. Three of the songs from the original [1943] stage musical have been used, with new lyrics [by Ann Ronell].

One Touch of Venus comes to the screen as a pleasant comedy fantasy. Ava Gardner steps into the top ranks as the goddess, Venus. Hers is a sock impression, bountifully physical and alluring, delivered with a delightfully sly instinct for comedy. Three of the songs from the original [1943] stage musical have been used, with new lyrics [by Ann Ronell].

Plot, briefly, covers the romantic adventures of a department store window dresser (Robert Walker), who, in a completely pixilated moment, kisses a statue of Venus and brings her to life for 24 hours. Those are eventful hours; Venus’ aura of love casts a spell over all, bringing couples together and spreading happiness of romance. The script by Harry Kurnitz and Frank Tashlin [based on S.J. Perelman's book of the musical, suggested by F. Anstey's The Tinted Venus] is punctuated with snappy dialog and funny situation.

Walker delivers a gifted comedy performance. Eve Arden, the store owner’s glib secretary, gives another of her punchy deliveries. Musical high spots please the ear and best is ‘Speak Low’, from the original Kurt Weill-Ogden Nash score, reprised several times.

One Touch of Venus

Production

Universal. Director William A. Seiter; Producer Lester Cowan; Screenplay Harry Kurnitz, Frank Tashlin; Camera Franz Planer; Editor Otto Ludwig; Music Ann Ronell; Art Director Bernard Herzbrun, Emrich Nicholson

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1948. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Robert Walker Ava Gardner Dick Haymes Eve Arden Olga San Juan Tom Conway

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