Love Is a Ball is an airy fairy tale [set on the French Riviera] thrust into cinematicomedic orbit by the devious new campaign of a mercenary cupid, or matri-moneymaker, who designs for fun and profit, with an emphasis on the latter, carefully tailored affairs between his prefabricated ‘clients’ and the most eligible heiresses of the world. As promoter and agent, he is then entitled to his cut when the desired wedlock materializes.
But heiress Hope Lange is a shoo-in to fall not for Ricardo Montalban, who is the scrubbed, polished, though not quite grooma-cum-laude graduate of fearless Eros Charles Boyer’s male-order school for candidate instant millionaire husbands, but for Glenn Ford, who has been planted by Boyer as chauffeur in Hope’s household, the better to drive her swiftly into the clutches of his prized pupil.
The engaging screenplay is from Lindsay Hardy’s novel, The Grand Duke and Mr Pimm, which was to have been the title of the picture. The scenario misfires in many places, particularly in the latter stages when all semblance of credulity abruptly crumbles, but on the whole it plays to advantage, and David Swift as director has made the most of it.
The actors bat it out expertly. Ford does what comes naturally. Lange strikes most of the right notes and postures as a sexy all-American kook with 40 million clams in the kitty. Telly Savalas just about steals the show as Lange’s gourmet-uncle.