No Way to Treat a Lady

No Way to Treat a Lady

3.0 1
Director: Jack Smight

Cast: Jack Smight, Rod Steiger, Lee Remick, George Segal

     
 

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New York detective Moe Brummell (George Segal) is assigned to track down a serial killer who has been preying on lonely middle-aged ladies. Each of the bodies is discovered with a lipstick kiss drawn on the forehead. We know (but Brummell doesn't) that the murderer is Christopher Gill (Rod Steiger), a round-the-bend actor whose hatred for his mother has driven him to… See more details below

Overview

New York detective Moe Brummell (George Segal) is assigned to track down a serial killer who has been preying on lonely middle-aged ladies. Each of the bodies is discovered with a lipstick kiss drawn on the forehead. We know (but Brummell doesn't) that the murderer is Christopher Gill (Rod Steiger), a round-the-bend actor whose hatred for his mother has driven him to his killing spree. Gill is fond of adopting a different personality and costume with each killing (a priest, a homosexual, a plumber etc.), making him doubly difficult to trace. When Brummell comments to the media that he's up against a criminal genius, he finds himself the reluctant recipient of Gill's anonymous phone calls, wherein the killer plants cryptic clues leading to his next crime. It may not be readily apparent from the previous sentence, but No Way to Treat a Lady is a comedy-albeit a jet-black one. Moe Brummell is hampered with an archetypal Jewish mamma (Eileen Heckart), who in her own way is as deadly as the elusive Christopher Gill. Lee Remick plays Brummell's girl friend, who, as the only person who might be able to identify Gill, is placed in harm's way at the film's climax. A curious by-product of No Way to Treat a Lady is the fact that Rod Steiger was cast in the lead in the 1976 biopic W.C. Fields and Me on the basis of the third-rate Fields imitation he offers to George Segal during one of his taunting phone calls.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Friedman
Nowadays, when it seems that a successful film has to be either a big holiday or summer special-effects blockbuster, or a cheap independent circuit success, it makes one long for the days when good films with good stories were made for modest budgets and provided a decent piece of entertainment without overloading the senses. This dying breed of the movies is still around, however, and although often under appreciated, should be sought out. One case in point is No Way to Treat a Lady, a black comedy that combines a crime drama with the often humorous relationships men have with their mothers. In spite of the film being a thriller, we know from the beginning who the bad guy is. It's Rod Steiger, who gets to really stretch and ham it up as a theater manager/serial killer who murders each of his victims in some outlandish disguise to win their trust. George Segal is the cop who must crack the case and, at the same time, fend off his wonderfully annoying mother, Eileen Heckart (whose running gag line, "Who ever heard of a Jewish cop?" gets repeated over and over again throughout). Steiger's character is one of those vain killers who checks the newspaper for reports of his exploits and who takes to calling Segal when the facts are reported wrong or when he wants to taunt the authorities. Segal is rather bland, although it's not really his fault since the role doesn't give him much to do other than to react to the other characters, particularly his mother, Steiger, and Lee Remick, as his love interest and would-be victim of the murderer. Steiger goes way, way over the top, but it works because the film has set him up to be not only flamboyant, but overreactive to mother issues of his own. His various disguises get odder and odder as the film moves along, and when it shifts from comedy into resolution of the crime mode, his character becomes that much more menacing, not because he's funny but because we learn, as Segal puts the pieces together, that he is honestly and truly deranged. Remick serves as the breath of fresh air, only because her character is the only one who isn't dealing with some sort of emotional crisis. The scene where she meets and charms Heckart is an overlooked comedic gem.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929303137
Original Release:
1968
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
12,020

Special Features

Closed-Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rod Steiger Christopher Gill
Lee Remick Kate Palmer
George Segal Morris Brummel
Eileen Heckart Mrs. Brummel
Murray Hamilton Inspector Haines
Michael Dunn Mr. Kupperman
Martine Bartlett Alma Mulloy
Barbara Baxley Belle Poppie
Irene Dailey/Martin Donegan Mrs. Fitts
Doris Roberts Sylvia Poppie
Ruth White Mrs. Himmel
Val Bisoglio Detective Monaghan
David F. Doyle Lieutenant Dawson
Kim August Sadie
Tom Aheame Father O'Brien
Louis Basile Customer
Sam Coppola Actor
James Dukas Police Artist
Joey Faye Superintendent
John Gerstad Dr. Shaffer
Glenn Kezer Officer
Don Koll Detective
Tony Major Actor
Al Nesor Actor
Bob O'Connell Actor
Patricia Ripley Woman
Vincent Sardi Actor
Zvee Scooler Old Man
P. Jay Sidney Medical Examiner
Burr Smidt Detective Sergeant

Technical Credits
Jack Smight Director
Ernest Adler Makeup
Theoni V. Aldredge Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew Belling Score Composer,Songwriter
John Gay Screenwriter
George Jenkins Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Archie Marshek Editor
Stanley Myers Score Composer
Terence Nelson Asst. Director
George Newman Costumes/Costume Designer
Bob O'Bradovich Makeup
Hal Pereira Art Director
Jack Priestley Cinematographer
Sol C. Siegel Producer
William Goldman Source Author

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- No Way to Treat a Lady
1. Chapter 1 [8:57]
2. Chapter 2 [1:27]
3. Chapter 3 [2:08]
4. Chapter 4 [5:47]
5. Chapter 5 [2:46]
6. Chapter 6 [5:17]
7. Chapter 7 [3:54]
8. Chapter 8 [3:45]
9. Chapter 9 [5:37]
10. Chapter 10 [:37]
11. Chapter 11 [5:05]
12. Chapter 12 [4:33]
13. Chapter 13 [4:21]
14. Chapter 14 [4:38]
15. Chapter 15 [1:19]
16. Chapter 16 [5:18]
17. Chapter 17 [4:26]
18. Chapter 18 [3:22]
19. Chapter 19 [6:32]
20. Chapter 20 [1:07]
21. Chapter 21 [5:35]
22. Chapter 22 [3:40]
23. Chapter 23 [2:36]
24. Chapter 24 [8:03]
25. Chapter 25 [:33]
26. Chapter 26 [6:25]

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