There's a Girl in My Soup

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There's a Girl in My Soup
There's A Girl in My Soup Poster.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Roy Boulting
Written by Terence Frisby
(play & screenplay)
Peter Kortner
(additional dialogue)
Produced by John Boulting
Mike J. Frankovich
Starring Peter Sellers
Goldie Hawn
Cinematography Harry Waxman
Edited byMartin Charles
Music by Mike D'Abo
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • December 14, 1970 (1970-12-14)(New York City)
  • December 21, 1970 (1970-12-21)(London)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguagesEnglish, French
Box office$4.5 million (rentals) [1]

There's a Girl in My Soup is a 1970 British romantic comedy film based on the long running stage play, directed by Roy Boulting and starring Peter Sellers and Goldie Hawn. [2] [3] The film was Sellers' last commercial success until Return of the Pink Panther five years later. [4]

Contents

Plot

Robert Danvers is a vain, womanizing and wealthy host of a high-profile television cooking show. He meets Marion, a no-nonsense 19-year-old American hippie who has just broken up with her British rock musician boyfriend Jimmy. After a halting start, they begin an affair, and she accompanies him on a trip to a wine-tasting festival in France, where she embarrasses him by getting extremely drunk, but they enjoy their time together on the coast in the South of France. However, when they return to London, Marion makes up with Jimmy and turns down a desperate proposal of marriage from Danvers. Throughout the film, Danvers' favourite line with women is: "My God, but you're lovely"—which, in the final scene after Marion has gone back to Jimmy and Danvers has made a date with another woman, he says to his own reflection. [5]

Cast

Production

The film is based on the stage comedy There's a Girl in My Soup , written by Terence Frisby, produced by Michael Codron, directed by Bob Chetwyn and starring Donald Sinden, Barbara Ferris and Jon Pertwee. [6] It ran for six and a half years in the West End, from 1966 to 1973, including three years at the Globe Theatre (now The Gielgud), breaking records to become London's longest-running comedy. [3] [4] This record was later broken by No Sex Please, We're British and then Run for Your Wife . [7] [8]

Film rights were bought in 1967 by Columbia and Nat Cohen. [9] Eventually Mike Frankovich became producer and the Boultings directed. [10]

Goldie Hawn signed in January 1969. [11] The movie introduced Christopher Cazenove, who later co-starred on Dynasty , and Nicola Pagett, who played Elizabeth Bellamy on Upstairs, Downstairs . [12] [13]

It was one of a series of supporting roles for Diana Dors that revived her career. [14]

A novelisation of the film, written by Raymond Hitchcock, was published in 1971. [15]

Goldie Hawn was unhappy that she was coerced into doing a nude scene for this film. "It was my first nude scene in a movie and I didn't want to do it. I was getting out of bed and putting on a coat and the director finessed me into doing it nude. There was absolutely no reason on earth for me to get out of that bed naked. Roy Boulting , the director, told me he'd clear the set and he really played on my insecurities, making me feel that it was my duty as an actress to trust him. I gave in, and, in retrospect, it was the conduct of somebody who didn't want to stomp off the set and be labeled as a bitch." [16]

Release

The film had its world premiere at the Astor Theatre in New York City on 14 December 1970. [17]

Reception

Box office

There's a Girl in My Soup ranked as the seventh most profitable film at the British box office in 1970. [18] [19]

Critical response

Variety found the film "a delightful surprise: a rather simple legit sex comedy (by Terence Frisby) transformed into breezy and extremely tasteful screen fun"; [20] Roger Greenspun in The New York Times , dismissed the film as "without illumination or wit or good humor or good sense", and concluded "The only performance to praise is that of Tony Britton, who, as Danvers's very much married publisher and friend, achieves a level of sophisticated pleasantness that actually, suggests comedy. Peter Sellers, on the other hand, is at his least inventive. And Goldie Hawn, who I think might be fun in another part, mostly indulges in bad habits with her too-expressive eyes. In fairness, both Miss Hawn and Mr. Sellers are handicapped by roles in which any attempt at a characterization must seem an imposition." [21] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 1.5 stars out of 4 and wrote that Sellers had "his first decent role in several years" and gave a "completely sympathetic performance", but "no amount of humor is able to wake up the film's tired story premise." [22] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times was positive, writing "Escapist entertainment it assuredly is, yet Frisby has wisely provided enough quiet moments between his gags to allow his characters to become real enough to care about." [23] Tom Milne of The Monthly Film Bulletin stated that Sellers was "hopelessly miscast" and that the film "would have been much better served by a straight romantic lead." [24]

The website Allmovie comments that "Soup was different in its day, as the heroine of the piece was not a Doris Day-type eternal virgin, but a sexual being who not only gives herself freely to a man but is upfront and unapologetic about her willingness. The movie has little going for it beyond this premise, and it wanders rather aimlessly, if agreeably, before abruptly resolving its insignificant conflicts." [25]

Awards

Frisby's script won The Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Screenplay in 1970. [26]

Goldie Hawn was nominated for Best Actress at the BAFTA's for her work in this and Cactus Flower . [27]

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References

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  2. "There's a Girl in My Soup (1970) – BFI". BFI. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012.
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  4. 1 2 "There's A Girl In My Soup". Turner Classic Movies.
  5. Guide, British Comedy. "The British Comedy Society". British Comedy Guide.
  6. Goble, Alan (8 September 2011). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. ISBN   9783110951943.
  7. "Anthony Marriott: Playwright best known for the farce No Sex Please" . 2 May 2014. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022.
  8. Gore-Langton, Robert (23 February 2017). "Comedy playwright Ray Cooney celebrates 85th birthday and 70 years in showbusiness".
  9. Martin, Betty (19 November 1966). "MOVIE CALL SHEET: Garas Loaned to Paramount". Los Angeles Times. p. 23 via ProQuest.
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  11. Bradford, Jack (13 January 1969). "Hollywood". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette .
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  13. "Upstairs, Downstairs: Series 01 (1971) – – Cast and Crew – AllMovie". AllMovie.
  14. Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
  15. "There's a Girl in my Soup". trashfiction.co.uk.
  16. Solid Goldie, p. 65 at Google Books
  17. "Columbia's 'Soup' Opens Dec. 14 As Astor Benefit". Variety . 2 December 1970. p. 6.
  18. Peter Waymark (30 December 1971). "Richard Burton top draw in British cinemas". The Times. London. p. 2 via The Times Digital Archive.
  19. Harper, Sue (2011). British Film Culture in the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure: The Boundaries of Pleasure. Edinburgh University Press. p. 269. ISBN   9780748654260.
  20. Variety Staff (1 January 1971). "There's a Girl in My Soup". Variety .
  21. Greenspun, Roger (16 December 1970). "Screen: Frisby's 'There's a Girl in My Soup' Opens". The New York Times : 54.
  22. Siskel, Gene (December 29, 1970). "Girl in My Soup". Chicago Tribune . Section 2, p. 3.
  23. Thomas, Kevin (December 15, 1970). "Sellers, Goldie in 'Soup'". Los Angeles Times . Part IV, p. 1.
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  26. "Writers' Guild Awards 1970 – Writers' Guild of Great Britain".
  27. "BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.