A Touch of Class (1973)

PG | 105-106 mins | Romantic comedy | June 1973

Director:

Melvin Frank

Producer:

Melvin Frank

Cinematographer:

Austin Dempster

Editor:

Bill Butler

Production Designer:

Terence Marsh

Production Companies:

Joseph E. Levine, Brut Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a May 1972 Var news item, British designers Jean Muir and Jeff Banks were creating Glenda Jackson’s wardrobe, although neither was credited onscreen or in reviews. In the film, a few moments of the 1945 British Cineguild production of Brief Encounter are shown as “Vickie” and “Steve” tearfully watch it on television in their Soho flat. Jackson won her second Academy Award for Best Actress for A Touch of Class . The film was also nominated in the following categories: Musical Score, Song (“All That Love Went to Waste”), Story and Screenplay and Best Picture. A Touch of Class was filmed on location in Estepona and Marbella, Spain and London, England, with interiors shot at Lee International Film Studios in London.
       The film received generally positive reviews, with HR , NYT and LAT critics agreeing that the film, as stated in HR , “revive[d] the spirit of the romantic screwball [of the 1930's and 1940s]." A Dec 1978 DV item noted that Brute Productions filed a five million dollar lawsuit against Avco Embassy Pictures Corp. in connection with the distribution of A Touch of Class and Avco’s failure to pay a percentage of the gross receipts. The outcome of the suit has not been determined. Jackson, George Segal and Paul Sorvino were reunited with director Melvin Franks and screenwriter Jack Rose in the 1979 production of Lost and Found . Modern sources add Nigel Kingsley to the ... More Less

According to a May 1972 Var news item, British designers Jean Muir and Jeff Banks were creating Glenda Jackson’s wardrobe, although neither was credited onscreen or in reviews. In the film, a few moments of the 1945 British Cineguild production of Brief Encounter are shown as “Vickie” and “Steve” tearfully watch it on television in their Soho flat. Jackson won her second Academy Award for Best Actress for A Touch of Class . The film was also nominated in the following categories: Musical Score, Song (“All That Love Went to Waste”), Story and Screenplay and Best Picture. A Touch of Class was filmed on location in Estepona and Marbella, Spain and London, England, with interiors shot at Lee International Film Studios in London.
       The film received generally positive reviews, with HR , NYT and LAT critics agreeing that the film, as stated in HR , “revive[d] the spirit of the romantic screwball [of the 1930's and 1940s]." A Dec 1978 DV item noted that Brute Productions filed a five million dollar lawsuit against Avco Embassy Pictures Corp. in connection with the distribution of A Touch of Class and Avco’s failure to pay a percentage of the gross receipts. The outcome of the suit has not been determined. Jackson, George Segal and Paul Sorvino were reunited with director Melvin Franks and screenwriter Jack Rose in the 1979 production of Lost and Found . Modern sources add Nigel Kingsley to the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Jul 1973
p. 4605.
Daily Variety
28 Dec 1978.
---
Filmfacts
1973
pp. 137-140.
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 1972
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 1972
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1973
p. 3, 10.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
28 Jun 1973.
---
Los Angeles Times
26 Jun 1973
Section IV, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jul 1973
Calendar, p. 1, 28.
New York Times
21 Jun 1973
p. 52.
Variety
17 May 1972.
---
Variety
6 Jun 1973
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Melvin Frank Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Focus puller
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Const mgr
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Dubbing mixer
Dubbing ed
MAKEUP
Cosmetics
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prod accountant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Amor Mio," "A Touch of Class," "All That Love Went to Waste" and "Nudge Me Every Morning" words and music by George Barrie and Sammy Cahn
"I Always Knew," words and music by John Cameron and Sammy Cahn
"She Loves Me, She Told Me So Last Night," words and music by Melvin Frank and Marvin Frank, sung by Glenda Jackson and George Segal.
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1973
Premiere Information:
London opening: May 1973
Los Angeles opening: 27 June 1973
Production Date:
early May--early July 1972 in London and Spain
Copyright Claimant:
Brut Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 June 1973
Copyright Number:
LP45457
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
105-106
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In London, insurance executive Steve Blackburn and fashion designer Vickie Allessio meet while mutually hailing a taxi in the rain. Having coincidentally seen Vickie earlier in a park and then on a bus, Steve is attracted to her and delighted to learn that while she has two children, she is divorced. Despite his own marriage and two children, Steve invites Vickie to tea the next day and at that meeting, asks immediately if they can lunch together the following day. Amused, Vickie discerns that the overzealous Steve would like to instigate an affair and, attracted to him as well, agrees. After a hasty lunch the following day, Steve takes Vickie upstairs to a small hotel room where she admits that as a hard-working single mother she is perfectly amenable to an affair with an attractive married man who will not burden her with emotional complications. Nevertheless, because she must return to work and would prefer they not begin in a second-rate hotel, Vickie suggests that Steve arrange a weekend for them somewhere on a beach in the sun. Elated, Steve agrees and hastening back to his office studies a weather chart and settles on sunny Malaga, Spain. Visiting Vickie at her office later that day, Steve proposes they spend a week together and, despite numerous business demands, Vickie agrees to depart with Steve the very next day. Although Steve has several anxious moments arranging his trip when it appears that his wife Gloria, who has returned home unexpectedly early from visiting her parents, will join him with their children on his trip, he at last succeeds in making the clandestine reservations ... +


In London, insurance executive Steve Blackburn and fashion designer Vickie Allessio meet while mutually hailing a taxi in the rain. Having coincidentally seen Vickie earlier in a park and then on a bus, Steve is attracted to her and delighted to learn that while she has two children, she is divorced. Despite his own marriage and two children, Steve invites Vickie to tea the next day and at that meeting, asks immediately if they can lunch together the following day. Amused, Vickie discerns that the overzealous Steve would like to instigate an affair and, attracted to him as well, agrees. After a hasty lunch the following day, Steve takes Vickie upstairs to a small hotel room where she admits that as a hard-working single mother she is perfectly amenable to an affair with an attractive married man who will not burden her with emotional complications. Nevertheless, because she must return to work and would prefer they not begin in a second-rate hotel, Vickie suggests that Steve arrange a weekend for them somewhere on a beach in the sun. Elated, Steve agrees and hastening back to his office studies a weather chart and settles on sunny Malaga, Spain. Visiting Vickie at her office later that day, Steve proposes they spend a week together and, despite numerous business demands, Vickie agrees to depart with Steve the very next day. Although Steve has several anxious moments arranging his trip when it appears that his wife Gloria, who has returned home unexpectedly early from visiting her parents, will join him with their children on his trip, he at last succeeds in making the clandestine reservations for him and Vickie alone. At the airport the next evening, Steve is dismayed to run into old friend Walter Menkes, a jovial film producer thrilled to find a flying companion, thus forcing Vicki to sit apart from Steve. Upon arriving in Spain, Steve’s plan to rent an elegant roomy car ends when it proves to be the last car available and, to avoid sharing with Walter, Steve allows his friend to have it. Hoping to be rid of Walter, Steve agrees to dine with him the following night and is finally able to depart with the increasingly fatigued Vickie in a tiny Italian model car with an uncertain clutch. After an initial mix-up over rooms at the hotel, Steve and Vickie finally settle into a double room up three flights with a view overlooking Gibraltar. As the couple settles into bed, Vickie comments how nice their view is and, turning abruptly to look, Steve throws out his back. By the time the manager brings a doctor to tend to Steve, Vickie is exhausted and falls asleep. The next morning, Vickie leaves the sleeping Steve and visits the street markets where she meets an American woman so pleased to meet another English speaker, that she invites Vickie to dinner that evening. Awakening later to spot Vickie on the balcony in a bikini, Steve is aroused and, with his back now mended, he and Vickie finally have sex. Afterward, Vickie is eager for lunch, but Steve insists on knowing how she felt about his sexual prowess. Crushed when she describes the experience as “very nice,” Steve complains bitterly, until an exasperated Vickie pronounces him a “typical American male,” which only infuriates Steve further. Despite the argument, Steve grudgingly allows Vickie to accompany him golfing where he soon starts a competition with his young caddy, Enrique. When Steve’s game falters, Enrique’s family and friends join the betting pool against him, but are disappointed when Steve ultimately wins. Certain that Steve initially played poorly intentionally, Vickie storms away in a huff and does not see Steve refuse Enrique’s money. Still annoyed with Vickie, Steve announces that he is dining out that evening. Meeting Walter later, Steve is chagrined to find Vickie at the table, as Walter’s wife Patty invited her at the street market. Irritated by Walter and Vickie’s discussion of Gloria and their children, Steve fumes back at the hotel room and another argument breaks out when Vickie mocks his oversensitivity. Agreeing that the trip was a mistake, Steve and Vickie decide to return to London immediately, but Steve refuses to contact the airlines and only upon arriving at the airport do they learn that the only London flight is sold out. Angrily returning to the hotel, the couple has a huge fight until, realizing their own foolishness, they burst into laughter and fall into bed together. Over the next few days, Steve and Vickie enjoy a romantic idyll as the Menkes watch suspiciously from a distance. The day before returning to London, Steve is taken aside by Walter who warns him not to fall in love with his mistress as it will be costly to them both. When Steve relates the advice to Vickie, she agrees but Steve insists he will not give her up. On their return to London, the couple rent and renovate a run-down Soho neighborhood flat in a building frequented by prostitutes and over the next several months continue their romance. Although it is initially lively and fun for both, Steve finds himself increasingly with conflicting family and work obligations that force him to miss repeated dates with Vickie. Undaunted, Steve slips away to visit Vickie at any opportunity, including while ostensibly walking the dog or during the intermission of a symphony concert. Although Vickie makes no complaint, Steve becomes aware of her growing disappointment and turns to Walter for advice on how to break with her. Steve arranges to meet Vickie for a serious talk, but rather than ending the relationship, he confesses that he loves her and cannot do without her. Soon after, Steve’s work again interferes with a planned date with Vickie which they rearrange for later that night. Telephoning Gloria to say he will be late, she reminds him of a charity concert they must attend that same night and he hurries home to change. Later, Vickie visits a nearby market to get spices for the dinner she is preparing for Steve and happens to see Steve and Gloria exiting the theater across the way. When Steve arrives later and lies about having been at work, Vickie informs him that she saw him at the theater and begins berating him until she realizes that she sounds like a wife. The next morning at dawn, walking to his office, Steve orders a telegram sent to Vickie gently breaking off their relationship. By the time he has reached home, however, Steve has changed his mind and calls to cancel the telegram. Vickie receives the telegram nevertheless and while listening to a pop song about romantic heartbreak, struggles in vain to come up with a sincere reply. While Steve hurries to buy groceries on his way to the flat, Vickie packs all her clothes and departs. Arriving at the flat, Steve finds his crumpled telegram and, glancing out the window, spots Vickie waiting in the rain for a taxi. Smiling wistfully, Steve turns off the record player. +

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

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