The World's Greatest Lover

Overview

After writing, directing, and starring in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, Gene Wilder added the producer's hat to his three-headed beast in The World's Greatest Lover. Wilder plays Rudy Valentine, a Milwaukee baker who enters a talent search in the Hollywood of the 1920s, initiated by movie studio mogul Zitz Dom DeLuise, to find a new Rudolph Valentino. He travels to Hollywood with his wife Annie Carol Kane in hopes of taking a screen test, but Annie falls in love with the real Valentino. ...
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Overview

After writing, directing, and starring in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, Gene Wilder added the producer's hat to his three-headed beast in The World's Greatest Lover. Wilder plays Rudy Valentine, a Milwaukee baker who enters a talent search in the Hollywood of the 1920s, initiated by movie studio mogul Zitz Dom DeLuise, to find a new Rudolph Valentino. He travels to Hollywood with his wife Annie Carol Kane in hopes of taking a screen test, but Annie falls in love with the real Valentino. Jealous of the Latin Lover, Rudy disguises himself as a sheik in an attempt to look like Valentino. Rudy then invites Annie to a rendezvous at the studio, where he tries to seduce his own wife.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Full-length audio commentary by Gene Wilder; Original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Under the right circumstances, few cinematic comedians can be as funny as Gene Wilder; unfortunately, circumstances are far from right in The World's Greatest Lover, the 1977 film that finds Wilder wearing far too many hats as star, writer, director and producer. A worthy collaborator in the writing (or, preferably, in the writing and directing) departments would likely have made Lover a quite enjoyable comedy. But left totally to his own devices, Wilder doesn't really know what to do. The screenplay at one moment is obsessed with shuffling in some gags for their own sake and the next with maniacally getting back to the story at hand. This in itself would not be so bad if the stand-alone gags were truly funny. Regrettably, the majority of "bits" in Lover fall flat, making for some fairly dull stretches. Equally problematic is the fact that the "story" sections of Lover are no great shakes either. The premise wears thin rather quickly, and the Annie-Rudy story just isn't compelling enough, despite a very good and at times inspired performance by Carol Kane. As an actor, Wilder is still very watchable here, but he doesn't find the variety in his performance that would it needs. He's too often loud and shrill, which Wilder does very well; but wild and shrill works better when it's contrasted with quieter, calmer moments. The supporting cast is filled with comic talents of a wide range, and they help; also of note is the impressive look of the film, and Wilder the director does do a fine job of capturing the atmosphere of 1920s Hollywood. These assets don't save Lover, but they do deserve recognition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/4/2006
  • UPC: 024543231479
  • Original Release: 1977
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:29:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 44,855

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gene Wilder Rudy Valentine
Carol Kane Annie
Dom DeLuise Zitz
Fritz Feld Hotel Manager
Carl Ballantine Uncle Harry
Michael Huddleston Barber
Robert Ball
Cousin Buddy Himself
David Huddleston
Frederico Roberto
Gustaf Unger
Harriet Gibson
Hannah Dean Maid
Rita Conde Whore #1
Lupe Ontiveros Whore #2
Teda Bracci Whore #3
Poncie Ponce Pineapple
Frank O'Brien Yes Man #4
Marya Small Slave Girl #2
Richard Roth Chico
Norbert Schiller Captain
Peter Elbing Robert Drake
Charles Knapp Bakery Foreman
George Memmoli Truck Driver
Pat Ast Bakery/Wardrobe Lady
Patrick Regan Assistant Director
Nora Boland Woman
Elya Baskin Actor with Bad Breath
David Levy Elevator Operator
Bunny Summers Mother on Train
Pavla Ustinov Leading Lady
Alvin Hammer Second Wardrobe Man
Zooey Hall Finalist #1
Lydia Goya Singer in Jail
Speedy Zapata Mexican Sidekick
Gino Gottarelli Make-up Man
Nick Dimitri Boyfriend on Train
Carol Arthur Woman in Record Store
Candice Azzara Anne Calassandro
Stanley Brock Yes Man #2
Warren Burton Drag Queen
Matt Collins Rudolph Valentino
Lou Cutell Mr. Kipper
Danny DeVito Assistant Director
Richard Dimitri Tony Lassiter
Josip Elic Headwaiter
James Gleason Room Clerk
James Hong Yes Man #3
Richard Karron Bodyguard
Sidney Miller Man at the Table
Jorge Moreno Mexican Gangster
Jack Riley Projectionist
Billy Sands Guard
Rolfe Sedan Conductor
Florence Sundstrom Aunt Tillie
Sal Viscuso Assistant Director
Ronny Graham Director
Mike McManus Yes Man #5
Technical Credits
Gene Wilder Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Darryl Athons Costumes/Costume Designer
Mel Dellar Asst. Director
Craig Edgar Set Decoration/Design
John Franco Jr. Set Decoration/Design
Logan R. Frazee Special Effects
Terry Frazee Special Effects
Phyllis Garr Costumes/Costume Designer
Christopher Greenbury Co-producer, Editor
Gerald Hirschfeld Cinematographer
Terence Marsh Production Designer
John Morris Score Composer
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry Nilsson Songwriter
Steve Sardanis Art Director
Theodore Soderberg Sound/Sound Designer
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Full Screen
1. Contest/Main Titles
2. Tongue Lashing
3. Hardly Unique
4. Lonely at the Top
5. Fame!
6. Number 8
7. "Ain't It Kinda Wonderful"
8. Where's the Baloney?
9. Mrs. Valentino
10. Water, Water Everywhere
11. A Real Lover
12. "Shuffle Off to Buffalo"
13. The Big Moment
14. A Sign From God
15. Mr. Valentino's Tent
16. Lone Voice
17. Get in Line
18. Final Auditions
19. The Greatest
20. Show's Over/End Titles
Disc #1, Side B -- Widescreen
1. Contest/Main Titles
2. Tongue Lashing
3. Hardly Unique
4. Lonely at the Top
5. Fame!
6. Number 8
7. "Ain't It Kinda Wonderful"
8. Where's the Baloney?
9. Mrs. Valentino
10. Water, Water Everywhere
11. A Real Lover
12. "Shuffle Off to Buffalo"
13. The Big Moment
14. A Sign From God
15. Mr. Valentino's Tent
16. Lone Voice
17. Get in Line
18. Final Auditions
19. The Greatest
20. Show's Over/End Titles
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Menu

Disc #1, Side A -- Full Screen
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English Mono
      Languages: English Stereo
      Languages: French Mono
      Languages: Spanish Mono
      Languages: Commentary
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentary by Gene Wilder: On
      Commentary by Gene Wilder: Off
      Theatrical Trailer
      The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Trailer
      Silver Streak Trailer
      Young Frankenstein Trailer
Disc #1, Side B -- Widescreen
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English Mono
      Languages: English Stereo
      Languages: French Mono
      Languages: Spanish Mono
      Languages: Commentary
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentary by Gene Wilder: On
      Commentary by Gene Wilder: Off
      Theatrical Trailer
      The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Trailer
      Silver Streak Trailer
      Young Frankenstein Trailer
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