Love Is a Ball (1963)

111 mins | Romantic comedy | 6 March 1963

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HISTORY

Filmmaker Blake Edwards was the first to acquire screen rights to Lindsay Hardy’s 1959 novel, The Grand Duke in Mr. Pimm, as announced in the 22 Nov 1960 DV. Edwards planned to direct and produce as part of a two-picture deal between his company, Homewood Productions, and United Artists. Frank and Tom Waldman were hired to adapt the script, and Edwards sought Alec Guinness for the lead role, according to the 27 Dec 1960 DV. Soon after, a 25 Jan 1961 Var brief stated that Martin Poll, who had recently stepped down as operator of Gold Medal Studios (a.k.a. Biograph Studios) in the Bronx, New York, was launching a new career as an independent producer, and The Grand Duke and Mr. Pimm would be one of his first ventures, in a co-production deal with United Artists.
       The casting of Glenn Ford and Hope Lange was reported in a 19 Sep 1961 DV item, days before the 26 Sep 1961 DV announced the departure of Blake Edwards from the project. Poll, who took credit for casting Ford and Lange in a 13 May 1962 NYT article, was said to be in negotiations with David Swift at that time, to replace Edwards as director. The production budget was cited as “$2,250,000 maximum,” with a $350,000 salary going to Ford and a $125,000 salary to Lange. Principal photography began the following spring, on 20 Mar 1962, as stated in a 30 Mar 1962 DV production chart.
       Filming took place on location in the French Riviera. The 13 May 1962 NYT ... More Less

Filmmaker Blake Edwards was the first to acquire screen rights to Lindsay Hardy’s 1959 novel, The Grand Duke in Mr. Pimm, as announced in the 22 Nov 1960 DV. Edwards planned to direct and produce as part of a two-picture deal between his company, Homewood Productions, and United Artists. Frank and Tom Waldman were hired to adapt the script, and Edwards sought Alec Guinness for the lead role, according to the 27 Dec 1960 DV. Soon after, a 25 Jan 1961 Var brief stated that Martin Poll, who had recently stepped down as operator of Gold Medal Studios (a.k.a. Biograph Studios) in the Bronx, New York, was launching a new career as an independent producer, and The Grand Duke and Mr. Pimm would be one of his first ventures, in a co-production deal with United Artists.
       The casting of Glenn Ford and Hope Lange was reported in a 19 Sep 1961 DV item, days before the 26 Sep 1961 DV announced the departure of Blake Edwards from the project. Poll, who took credit for casting Ford and Lange in a 13 May 1962 NYT article, was said to be in negotiations with David Swift at that time, to replace Edwards as director. The production budget was cited as “$2,250,000 maximum,” with a $350,000 salary going to Ford and a $125,000 salary to Lange. Principal photography began the following spring, on 20 Mar 1962, as stated in a 30 Mar 1962 DV production chart.
       Filming took place on location in the French Riviera. The 13 May 1962 NYT noted that the renowned Hotel Du Cap in Cap D’Antibes, France, stood in for the luxurious villa inhabited by “Millie Mehaffey.” Other French locations mentioned were the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes, the Hotel Provençal in Juan-les-Pins, the Hotel Métropole in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, the Negresco Hotel in Nice, the Cagnes-sur-Mer racetrack, the Musée Île-de-France in Cap Ferrat, the residence of novelist Somerset Maugham (also in Île-de-France), the harbor at Villefranche, and the flower gardens near Grasse. Scenes were also set to be shot at the casino and harbor in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix auto race. Delays necessitated seven-day shooting weeks toward the end of production, according to the 6 Jun 1962 DV. The completion of principal photography was reported in the 12 Jul 1962 DV.
       Martin Poll planned to produce a spin-off television series, based on the characters “Monsieur Étienne Pimm” and “Dr. Gump,” according to a 24 Aug 1962 DV article. However, at that time, no discussions of either Charles Boyer or Telly Savalas reprising their roles had taken place.
       A title change to Love is a Ball was announced in the 25 Jan 1963 DV, which stated that the film would receive a nationwide release in Mar 1963. In advance of theatrical release, a three-day junket was set to take place in Las Vegas, NV, between 1 and 3 Mar 1963, as noted in the 12 Feb 1963 DV. United Artists flew out over 100 members of the press for the $100,000 promotional event, which included a 1 Mar 1963 premiere at the Huntridge Theatre, followed by a late-night black-tie ball, filmed by television host Steve Allen, at the Dunes Hotel. The Los Angeles, CA, opening occurred days later, on 6 Mar 1963.
       Phillips Records planned to release a soundtrack of Michel LeGrand’s score, and Mercury Records was slated to release the theme song with lyrics by Richard Adler, “as a single featuring Billy Eckstine and Damita Jo,” according to a 26 Feb 1963 DV brief.
       Love Is a Ball marked the debut American feature film for Swedish actress Ulla Jacobsson. An 11 Oct 1961 DV brief indicated that Peter Ustinov had been cast in the picture, and the following actors were listed as cast members in DV and LAT items published between Feb 1962 and Jun 1962: Dick Bentley; Bernard Haller; Jenny Orleans; and Marguerite Cavaille.
       Harry Mines and Al Hix acted as unit publicists, the 25 May 1962 DV reported. George Masters served as hair stylist and wig designer during pre-production, but he was not brought to Europe for shooting, according to the 29 Mar 1962 LAT. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 Nov 1960
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
27 Dec 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Sep 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
11 Oct 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
13 Mar 1962
p. 5.
Daily Variety
30 Mar 1962
p. 8, 10.
Daily Variety
25 May 1962
p. 10.
Daily Variety
6 Jun 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Jul 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Aug 1962
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
25 Jan 1963
p. 8.
Daily Variety
12 Feb 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
5 Mar 1963
p. 3, 15.
Los Angeles Times
11 Aug 1961
p. 23.
Los Angeles Times
29 Mar 1962
Section C, p. 26.
Los Angeles Times
20 May 1962
Section A, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1962
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
9 Jun 1962
Section A, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jul 1962
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1962
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
8 Mar 1963
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
12 Mar 1963
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
30 May 1963
Section D, p. 13.
New York Times
23 Feb 1962.
---
New York Times
13 May 1962.
---
New York Times
25 Apr 1963.
---
Variety
25 Jan 1961
p. 3.
Variety
6 Mar 1963
p. 11.
Variety
13 Mar 1963
pp. 9-10.
Variety
13 Mar 1963
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Grand Duke and Mr. Pimm by Lindsay Hardy (New York, 1959).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Grand Duke and Mr. Pimm
Release Date:
6 March 1963
Premiere Information:
Las Vegas premiere: 1 Mar 1963; Los Angeles opening: 6 Mar 1963
Production Date:
20 Mar--late Jun or early Jul 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Gold Medal Enterprises
Copyright Date:
6 March 1963
Copyright Number:
LP24206
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
111
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

John Davis, an American adventurer at loose ends on the Riviera, agrees to work for Étienne Pimm, a professional matchmaker attempting to arrange a marriage between the impoverished Duke Gaspard and madcap American millionairess Millicent Mehaffey. While teaching the duke how to drive, ride, and play polo, Davis is also obliged to keep an eye on Millicent by becoming her chauffeur. Although Pimm succeeds in bringing his client and the heiress together, the duke falls in love with Millicent's secretary, Janine, while Millicent becomes enamored of Davis. But when Davis' part in Pimm's scheme is disclosed, the outraged Millicent denounces everyone and decides to marry fortune-hunting Freddie Paladzini. On her wedding day, however, she receives a message from Davis in the form of his chauffeur's cap. Realizing that she really does love him, she leaves the wedding and joins Davis on his tourist ... +


John Davis, an American adventurer at loose ends on the Riviera, agrees to work for Étienne Pimm, a professional matchmaker attempting to arrange a marriage between the impoverished Duke Gaspard and madcap American millionairess Millicent Mehaffey. While teaching the duke how to drive, ride, and play polo, Davis is also obliged to keep an eye on Millicent by becoming her chauffeur. Although Pimm succeeds in bringing his client and the heiress together, the duke falls in love with Millicent's secretary, Janine, while Millicent becomes enamored of Davis. But when Davis' part in Pimm's scheme is disclosed, the outraged Millicent denounces everyone and decides to marry fortune-hunting Freddie Paladzini. On her wedding day, however, she receives a message from Davis in the form of his chauffeur's cap. Realizing that she really does love him, she leaves the wedding and joins Davis on his tourist boat. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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