Good Neighbor Sam Film Details
Overview: To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.
Tagline: Slam! Bam! Here comes Sam!…Caught in the Middle of a Two-Woman Jam!
Review: “Good Neighbor Sam” (1964) 131 minutes (2:11) comedy starring Jack Lemmon *(Possible Spoilers)* Recently ordered the VHS from Amazon and watched it for the first time since I was …uh, much younger. Still “cute” and amusing in a 1964 kind of way. Has some great moments, but also could be tightened up considerably by today’s standards. A wide variety of sound stage, backlot and real city streets were used in the filming, so the production values are very “stagey” in some scenes. Yet it feels like the director tried to break it up with different camera angles in several scenes of the same location. An awful lot of “rear projection” shots for traffic scenes, though; and yet– a series of comedic vignettes throughout the movie actually call attention to the “R.P.” as if on purpose! Some of the action scenes are exaggerated through the use of accelerated camera speed. Such shots may remind you of “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” Story and plot? Actually, quite good for it’s day. I’d call it “sophisticated slapstick.” Sure there are a few holes in the plot, but it’s a comedy, not a biblical epic! I’d say for 1964 this was probably very, very good. (And, hey! Martinis are “in” all over again in 2003! 😉 Jack Lemmon plays a bored ad man, a lowly creative type in the – literal – bowels of the ad agency building where he works. The fates intervene to place him, quite suddenly, in the limelight as the new head of the agency’s most important new account. But merry mix-ups ensue to confuse Lemmon’s co-workers and his home life — where he becomes forced to assume the identity of his new French neighbor’s husband! There’s much more to it than that, of course, and once the plot drivers are set up, the story plays out in what today might seem a predictable fashion but what was probably fairly original in 1964. I enjoyed the attempts at injecting reality into the mix by getting out of the sound stage. Watch for scenes showing stylized bits of life behind the scenes at a big-city ad agency with important accounts; cars whizzing through the streets of a pre-“Bullitt” San Francisco; and the prototypical display of “California Suburbia” for Sam’s own neighborhood. (Everyone seems to drive brand new cars there — easy to pick out if you know your 1963-64 model cars. Although here I may be showing my age. 😉 It is an odd sort of feeling, in fact, to note some of the detail in the sets, set dressings and the wardrobe and fashions: if this were a “period” film shot today, I’d say they did their homework very well. But it was contemporary, “present day” story telling in 1964! Watch as well for “product placement.” There’s a surprising amount for way back in ’64. Some of it is integral to the story; much is not. And it is simply amazing how many faces you will recognize… a veritable who’s who of b-line and character actors like Louis Nye, Robert Q. Lewis and even Mike Connors– ol’ “Mannix” himself! Plus, the venerable Edward G. Robinson plays way against his usual type in his role as the important new ad agency client everyone sucks up to. But this is Lemmon’s star vehicle, and he’s in tip-top form here. It’s “Ensign Pulver” AFTER the war! Overall, this is one of those movies about which the old folks say, “they just don’t make ’em like that any more!” -DJQ 5/16/03
Country: United States
Duration: 130 min
Also known as: Vuoroin vieraissa,Bunul meu vecin Sam,Empresta-me o Teu Marido,Good Neighbor Sam,Prête-moi ton mari,Leih mir deinen Mann,Préstame a tu marido,Хороший сосед Сэм,Um Amor de Vizinho,ちょっとご主人貸して,Scusa, me lo presti tuo marito?,Préstame tu marido,Pozajmi mi svoga muza,Gerasis kaimynas Semas,Zamieńmy się mężami,I mama… o babas… kai i eromeni…,Daneise mou ton andra sou,Sam el sinverguenza,Lån mig din mand,Sam el sinvergüenza,Har ni sett maken?