Friday, November 6, 2009

1967 - THE HONEY POT Mankiewicz's final shot as writer/director

The writer/director Joseph L Mankiewicz never really got it together after the Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra film mess he got himself into in 1963. It was 1967 before he completed and released another film.


 The Honey Pot looks like it was intended to be a classy comedy/murder mystery with an all star cast. The film is a mash up of ideas and supposedly witty dialog and supposedly clever situations, not terrible, not very good. The Honey Pot was shot on location in Venice but not a lot of work was put into using the locations in an interesting way. Most of the action takes place on sets built at Cinecitta studios in Rome.

A seriously decent all star cast which was probably attracted to this film because of Mankiewicz's considerable reputation and that is about the only reason to sit through this thing. Even a pro like Rex Harrison seems to be hamming it up as he tries to bring some interest to the film.

Joseph L Mankiewicz ended his career partially redeeming himself by directing Sleuth with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. He was smart enough to go out on a can't miss film with two good actors in a film adaptation of a successful Broadway play. Mankiewicz saw the handwriting on the wall for his career and retired.

 125 minutes

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