An elegant, sophisticated screen vehicle for more demanding tastes, previously billed as Mr Fox of Venice and Anyone for Venice? Vaguely drawing its inspiration from Ben Jonson’s Volpone, film’s updated plot centers around the fabulously rich Cecil Fox (Rex Harrison) who with the aid of a sometimes gigolo and secretary, William McFly (Cliff Robertson), plays a joke of sorts on three one-time mistresses by feigning grave illness and gauging their reactions as they come flocking to his bedside.
There is the wisecracking hypochondriac, Mrs Sheridan (Susan Hayward), who was Fox’s first love, accompanied by the attractive nurse, Sarah Watkins (Maggie Smith). There’s Princess Dominique, a glacially beautiful jetsetter played by Capucine. And there’s the ebullient Merle McGill (Edie Adams), a Hollywood star without a care in the world – except for a massive debt to Uncle Sam.
The dialog is often a delight in its hark-back to the days when the turn of a phrase and the tongue-in-cheek were a staple of better Hollywood product. The playing is all of a superior character.