|DON'T DRINK THE WATER (director: Howard Morris; screenwriter: Harvey Bullock/Woody Allen/R.S. Allen/based on the play by Woody Allen; cinematographer: Harvey Genkins; editor: Ralph Rosenblum; music: Patrick Williams; cast: Jackie Gleason (Walter Hollander), Estelle Parsons (Marion Hollander), Ted Bessell (Axel Magee), Joan Delaney (Susan Hollander), Michael Constantine (Krojack), Howard St. John (Ambassador Magee), Danny Meehan (Kilroy), Richard Libertini (Father Drobney), Avery Schreiber (Sultan); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jack Grossberg/Charles H. Joffe/Joseph E. Levine/Henry Polonsky/Jack Rollins; Avco Embassy; 1969)|
|"The title should be Don't See
by Dennis Schwartz
comic and busy television director Howard Morris ("Goin'
Coconuts") shows us he should stick to TV,
cinema is not his medium. Morris's inept direction and
the awful script by Harvey Bullock, Woody
Allen and R.S. Allen, makes the edgy successful
Woody Allen Broadway play turn to buffoonery. It's an
awkward film. The slapstick comedy is infantile, the
sight gags are not funny and everyone is miscast.. The
cast tries its best, but it struggle for laughs with
the weak material it's given. Its star Jackie Gleason
tries to pull off on the big screen his usual brash TV
act and it just doesn't work. The title should be
Don't See The Film.
NJ, kosher caterer Walter Hollander (Jackie
Gleason), his cleanliness freak wife Marion (Estelle
Parsons), and their naive daughter Susan (Joan
Delaney), are passengers on a hijacked
plane, heading for Athens during the last stop of
their European summer vacation, but are forced to
land behind the Iron Curtain in Vulgaria. While
taking photos of themselves at the airport, Krojack
the head of the Vulgarian secret police, suspects
espionage and attempts to arrest them. However
the incompetent son of the absent ambassador, Axel
Magee (Ted Bessell), takes them
to the American embassy and gives them asylum. He will
also help them try and escape when a spy swap is not
done because the Vulgarian spy hangs himself.
slight story has the family in fear they will be stuck
there forever, believing this is so when the
Hollanders meet in the residence the daffy refugee
Father Drobney (Richard Libertini
), who has been there for six
film displeased just about everyone, including Woody.
He made another version in 1994, a TV one, which puts
this one to shame.
REVIEWED ON 11/20/2015 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ