The Facts Of Life (1960)

the facts of life 1960

Lucille Ball drops the wacky persona for this romantic comedy with Bob Hope. They’re two suburbanites bored with their lives and marriages that end up falling for each other. The movie is done really well and without slapstick and overall craziness. It’s well worth checking out.

Kitty Weaver (Lucille Ball) arrives at San Francisco airport ready for an illicit weekend with Larry Gilbert (Bob Hope). How this situation came about is told via flashback.

Six friends are going to Acapulco together. They always spend vacations and a lot of time together. They are Kitty and Jack (Don Defore), Larry and Mary Gilbert (Ruth Hussey) and Doctor and Connie Mason. They’re all together at their country club as some awards are being handed out. Larry is the emcee. Kitty is bored listening to him tell the same old corny jokes. Her husband Jack is in the locker room involved in a crap game. Larry hands out an award to Hamilton Busbee (Louis Nye) while Kitty yawns.

Back home Kitty complains to Jack about Larry and at his house Larry is complaining about Kitty. They are not looking forward to this vacation.  Circumstances arise where Jack and Mary have to stay home for a few days. Larry and Kitty go along with the Masons’.

The Masons’ got vaccinated but Larry and Kitty skipped that.  Turns out the Masons’ come down with Montezuma’s revenge leaving Larry and Kitty to fend for themselves. On the first day they go fishing and Kitty catches a hundred and fifty pound marlin. Larry helps her land it and it looks like that’s not the only thing she catches. They find out that Mary and Jack won’t be able to make it there at all. That leads to romantic nights including a midnight swim. They try a lip lock but Kitty can’t stop sneezing.

They can’t help but realize they’ve fallen for each other but it’s time to go home and back to their lives. Kitty talks to Jack but he’s too into reading the newspaper and Larry is being ignored by Mary and the kids when he tells about the marlin.

Kitty and Larry can’t fight it any longer. At a country club dance they set up a rendezvous.  Larry wonders if he’ll make it since it’s his night to spend time with his son at the YMCA. Finally the function is over and he speeds off to meet Kitty. They decide to go to a drive-in.

Once they’re into each other another car pulls up next to them. It’s Thompson the dry cleaner (Peter Leeds). They both use his services. Thompson is looking over at them and they try and avoid him seeing them. After a few mishaps they drive away.

The next day Thompson goes to Larry’s house to pick up some cleaning. He kids Larry and Mary about seeing them last night at the drive-in. Mary laughs it off and Thompson leaves confused. Later Larry and Kitty are thrown together again when they’re alone at a club dance. The temptation is too much and they head for a motel. A nervous Larry signs in as Mr.and Mrs.G.Washington. The manager (Robert F.Simon) knows what’s going on but..a buck’s a buck.

They’re both a little tipsy and Larry says he’ll go and get Kitty some coffee. He has a hard time finding a place open. Meanwhile Kitty get tired of waiting and has the manager get her a cab. After two hours Larry returns. The manager had turned the outside lights off and Larry couldn’t find the place. When he does the room has already been rented to another couple. They weren’t interested in Larry’s coffee.

Now Jack and the kids are off on a skiing trip and Larry convinces Kitty to join him for a weekend in Monterey and a co-workers cabin. Before leaving Kitty leaves Jack a note on the fireplace mantle that she wants a divorce. Now the movie picks up at the San Francisco airport.

On the way to the cabin it starts to rain and the top of the convertible won’t go up. Larry says he can fix it. He can’t and they get soaked. Kitty is more than annoyed. When they get to the cabin the roof is leaking. They’re starting to get on each others nerves as they talk about the future. This leads to the only Lucy moment but it’s brief and it works.

They finally realize that they been in too much of a hurry and decide to go home. Kitty think she can make it in time to get the note before Jack returns. Complications arise at the airport when they run into Hamilton and his wife.

This is a pleasant comedy that does have some Hope one liners but they’re not overbearing and with the two leads restrained it makes for an entertaining movie.

Kitty and Larry head for their tryst

Kitty and Larry head for their tryst

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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