By Johnny Foreigner
Of any of the films listed in Johnny Foreigner’s Favorite 25 Films of All Time – the one that elicits most head-scratching is The World of Henry Orient directed by George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Slap Shot). Most readers feel it simply doesn’t belong on a list of films that include The Godfather and Casablanca.
Often however, Hobbledehoy readers admit to never having seen the 1964 movie. They should.
Though the film definitely carries some of the cultural baggage of the early ’60s, in some way it was way ahead of its time. There we scant few films made about female friendships before Henry Orient, and not enough since. The most admirable adult character is Marion’s mother – divorced, working outside of the home, and co-habitating happily with an old school gal pal. This was quite unusual in the era of “Father Knows Best” and “Make Room for Daddy.”
Peter Sellers and Paula Prentiss are at the top of their game – together absolutely wonderful pairing of comic talents. Angela Lansbury is typically excellent. And 17 yr old Tippy Walker is brilliant and unforgettable as Val (I had such a crush on Tippy as a kid – even after when she later joined the cast of Peyton Place)
Peter Seller’s character Henry Orient occasionally losing his fake European accent and lapsing into his natural Brooklynese when most nervous — is still hilarious after all these years.
Stream The World of Henry Orient on Amazon Prime