Barefoot in the Park
Release year: 1967
Director: Gene Saks
Screenwriter: Neil Simon (screenplay based on his own play)
Starring: Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Charles Boyer, Mildred Natwick, Herb Edelman, Mabel Albertson, Fritz Feld, James Stone
Ratings: 1 Oscar nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Mildred Natwick).
Newly married couple Corie (Jane Fonda) and Paul (Robert Redford) spent a passionately honeymoon together. But when the everyday starts in their small New York apartment, the differences between the two lovers become more evident, and then there’s the neighbours.
Based on the play by the same name, Gene Saks’s (The Odd Couple, 1968) romantic comedy sees several of the actors from the play reprise their parts: Redford (The Sting, 1973) as uptight husband Paul, Natwick (The Quiet Man, 1952) as the bride’s mother and Boyer (Gaslight, 1944) as the telephone installer who get’s an unwanted insight into the trouble of marriage. As the spontaneous bride, Fonda (The China Syndrome, 1979) shows great talent for farce as she gives an enthusiastic performance that makes her light up the room whenever she is in it (which fortunately is most of the time). Redford is as charming and handsome as the part requires and his familiarity with the part pays of by showing an actor that obviously feels comfortable with the part. Thought the leads are great as the married couple, the sees themselves overshadowed by scene-stealing support. As the eccentric neighbour, Boyer is delightful and the scene where he takes the couple and Corie’s mother to an Albanian restaurant is one of the most entertaining in the movie. But the real scene-stealer is an excellent Natwick, who gives a lecture in how sometimes underplaying is your strongest weapon when it comes to bring humour forward. As Corie’s mother she is dry and proper, making the later twist involving her that more powerful. It is a charming movie, but a very talkative comedy that show it’s play origin.
Neil Simon based the story on his first marriage.
This was the first major hit for actor Robert Redford.
The film inspired a 13 episode TV sitcom series Barefoot in the Park (1970) which had an all African-American cast and was broadcast during the 1970-71 season.
Picture copyrights: UIP