Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the world of henry orient

I recently saw this film, which I haven't seen in several years. I love the Pink Panthers, but The World of Henry Orient (1964) happens to be my favorite Peter Sellers film. I posted on this movie back when I first started blogging, way back when just you, me and the fencepost were readers. I decided it was well worth revisiting.

The sparkling screen play, by Nunally Johnson, is adapted from the novel by his daughter, Nora Johnson. It's the story of two 13 year old girls, delightfully played by Tippy Walker and Merri Spaeth, who have a crush on a seedy and untalented concert pianist, Henry Orient, hilariously portrayed by Peter Sellers. Set in a charming 1963 Manhattan, it's based on the fresh idealism and innocence of the young girls, and immediately brought back my own girlish exuberance of the time period.

There's also a masterful performance from Angela Lansbury, who's in her nasty-mother-Manchurian-Candidate mode. Funny, touching and utterly delightful, this jewel of a film is entirely underrated. Add it to your Netflix queue, pull on those woolly socks, my friends, and
take a trip down memory lane.

62 comments:

  1. I vaguely remember loving this film. Will have to revisit it as I've always adored Peter Sellers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is it wrong for me to admit that I love Angela Lansbury?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Willow, Have you ever read about writing like Kerouac did in that stream of consciousness thing he did? I tried it once and couldn't figure out how one could keep pen to paper writing nonstop, so I wrote on a large piece of paper in a circle till the page was filled in. It was strange. Like me. Guess I'll try anything once.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great tip...I am adding "The World of Henry Orient" to my Netflix queue. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a wonderful, under-rated film. The fact that it revolves around the two young girls instead of the established stars is part of what I love. And seeing two young girls strolling around Manhattan at all hours without there being any concern for their safety is also part of what makes it a glimpse into a lost, enchanting world. I want to live in that world!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I haven't seen the movie, thank you for bringing it to my attention! (At the moment I'd give a lot for your warm woolly sox, I spent an hour and a half walking in subzero temperatures *brrrrr*).

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've been familiar with this movie for years, but have never seen it. That must be rectified! For vintage Sellers, try I'm All Right, Jack. He has a supporting role, but the whole movie is quite funny. Memorably hilarious ending, too. Also, if you've never seen Lolita, he's pretty much at the top of his game there. And Dr. Strrangelove, of course...hey, the guy was amazingly talented.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ah, nostalgia for your and our youthful exuberance. I can just imagine you, like the girls in the video clip, skipping along, bounding over fire hydrants and children on tricylces (though nowadays this would be grounds for arrest I imagine). Your writing still effects such delightful little leaps. I have never seen the film, but will definitely check it out after reading the post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. He looks very fetching in pink! I love that silk collar.

    Apparently, ( according to Q.I. on TV) it used to be little boys who wore pink and little girls who wore blue. Somehow it all got switched around but I am noticing pink in gentleman's attire more and more.

    Forgive the diversion, I am rambling.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I cannot believe I have never seen this movie! Netflix to the rescue!

    ReplyDelete
  13. nice. i dont remember seeing this film...wi have to rectify that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is one of my most favorite films!!! I loved it the first time I saw it when it aired on CBS Friday Night at the Movies back in 1965. The most amazing cast.

    Now if they would put "The Group" on Dvd!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can't recall of ever having heard of the film. I'm very fond of Peter Sellers so I will definitely search it out.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This must be one of the few (perhaps only) Peter Sellers films I haven't seen.

    I wish we had Netflix in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love "Snow" and your film insights. I did speculate several times about that photo of the level could be. What is up with Anonymous?

    ReplyDelete
  19. K, I saw Lolita for the first time last year, and wondered where it had been hiding all these years. Everyone is great in it, Sellers, Winters, and James Mason is just incredible!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, Shari, sorry about anonymous. I like to keep comment moderation and word verification off, so I do get the occasional nasty spam.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This was my absolute favorite movie when I was about 12 -- I must have watched it a dozen times. I've not seen it in years though -- thanks for the reminder! On to the queue it goes...

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love anything by Peter Sellers and/or Angela Lansbury. I'm waiting for her TV series anthology videos become more affordable.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This one is still a fave but then so were all Sellers films( grins ). Have you ever seen "After The Fox"?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello Willow,

    I've never been much of a fan for Sellars despite his talent but I love Lansbury. The clip makes Manhattan look very sedate!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Groovy ... I have been looking for a movie new or old worth watching... and I do love the Pink Panther series... so this should be good...

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am also one who admires Peter Sellers's work.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Angela Lansbury is great in everything, isn't she?

    I love your movie reviews. You really get me enthusiastic about film. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I cannot believe that I haven't seen this film. It's now on my to do list. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I haven't seen this in years. Thanks for reminding me of it.

    Did you see the very good but rather sad "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers"? Check it out.

    David
    http://www.globalaroudtown.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I don't think I've ever seen this one. It looks so charming and delightful. Just the kind of movie one needs to see with wooly socks on.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think I WILL add it to my Netflix queue!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I never saw it. But consider the film added to mu list. Thanks, Willow.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes, I too have added it to my queue along with "My Night at Maud's" and "Claire's Knee", thanks to a Roger Ebert posting today.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I haven't seen this movie, either. It does sound interesting...will have to check it out.
    BTW, I really like your new header picture : )

    ReplyDelete
  35. I always seem to forget that Peter Sellers did do other acting other than in Pink Panther movies which I loved as a kid.
    I love your new header.

    ReplyDelete
  36. A good reminder, Willow.
    It's time for this one to
    go on the Nefflix que.
    (Did you see the first episode of Return to Cranford this weekend?
    I'm so thrilled to have those ladies back in my parlour every Sunday evening!)

    Jjj

    ReplyDelete
  37. No one stranger or more talented than Peter Sellers. Thanks for reminding me of Henry.. my favorite is "Being There".
    Angela..the mother with the look that kills!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. stream of consciousness from a bloggy spigot. I don't know how long that has been there, but it cracks me up!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've never seen that film! It looks good so I will look out for it. Thank you for reminding and telling us all about it.
    Blessings, Star

    ReplyDelete
  40. I always check out films you recommend Willow. We seem to like the same types. I have never seen this.
    QMM

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love Sellers, but have never seen this one. I'll keep an eye out for it.
    I really like him in "The Ladykillers" alongside Alec Guinness.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Willow,
    Thanks for sharing this movie with us. I didn't know about it. With Peter Sellers, it has to be funny!
    The Bach

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Kato, prepare the Silver Hornet!" Ah, the many faces of Peter Sellers!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Kat, I completely forgot Sellers was in The Lady Killers. I haven't seen it in ages. I remember loving it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. FireLight, yes, the Silver Hornet! That's what our oldest son called the gray Volvo he drove for years.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thought Peter Sellers was fantanstic. Murder she wrote is
    one of my favorites.
    About those Christie prints he was great.

    Yvonne
    Watching Ziegfield story now TCM
    They mentioned Sanford White
    in the movie..

    ReplyDelete
  47. willow - somehow i passed on this film although i have been revisiting the early peter sellers flicks as well as his work on the radio show "the goon show". he was absolutely brilliant and played the stumbling bumbling brit boy so much better than he who cannot be named but seems to show up in a number of hit chickflicks and whose name rhymes with huge rant!!! steven

    ReplyDelete
  48. Steven, you're so right. He who rhymes with huge rant isn't even in the same league as the brilliant Sellers. But, he does have great hair, I must admit.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks. I'm adding it to my queue now.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I saw it some time back--we will have to watch it again--thanks for the reminder! When I get home again, I'll try to watch with Joe.

    ReplyDelete
  51. hmmm, will have to check that out...and wooly socks go well with absolutely everything!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Did you ever see "Being There"? That was my favorite Sellers film!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I haven't seen this one. I'll add it to my list:)

    ReplyDelete

  54. Along with the aforementioned Being There, also see The Battle Of The Sexes when you get a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Peter Sellers is so great. This was a wonderful movie.

    ReplyDelete
  56. interesting camera work there...never even heard of this movie, but Peter Sellers is tops in comedy. Hopes it shows up on basic cable soon.

    ReplyDelete
  57. This is one of the things that I like about winter(and I don't like much)but sitting in the warmth, watching old movies and a brand new pair of wool socks...there is nothing like it, you agree!!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'd never heard of that movie. i must look it up!

    ReplyDelete
  59. This brought back memories...I believe I have seen this, when I was quite young because I too loved, loved, loved the Pink Panther films.

    much love

    ReplyDelete
  60. I don't know this one, must look it up. I love Peter Sellers too.

    ReplyDelete
  61. This film was already on my Netflix list...and I think I added it because of something I read here long ago:)...it has just been moved from #35 (out of 70) to #1...

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hello,
    I just registered and wanted to pop in and introduce myself to the people. Let me just say that it is a awesome forum that you have here.

    Here are some other web sites and blogs that might be of interest to you.

    [url=http://skintoday.info]skintoday.info[/url] - skintoday.info
    [url=http://skintoday.info]skincareblog.info[/url] - skincareblog.info
    [url=http://skintoday.info]skinsmart.info[/url] - skinsmart.info
    [url=http://skintoday.info]skincareshop.info[/url] - skincareshop.info

    skin care products and tips and tricks

    ReplyDelete

Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)