You either have it or you don't. The knack, that is, of seduction! From the director of the Beatles movies A Hard Day's Night and Help! comes this inventive and hilarious (Time) romp through love and sex in 1960's London. Featuring Richard Lester's frenetic filmmaking stylecareening from slapstick to serious to avant-gardethis genuinely dazzling (Los Angeles Times) film is a mod masterpiece! Cool and sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has a monopoly on womanizingwith a long line of conquests to prove itwhile the naïve and awkward Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece of it. But when Colin falls for an innocent country girl (Rita Tushingham), it's not long before the self-assured Tolen moves in for the kill. Is all fair in love and war, or can Colin get the knack and beat Tolen at his own game?
Fresh from the playfully exuberant A Hard Day's Night
(1964), director Richard Lester applies the same acrobatic, tongue-in-cheek style to this delightfully frivolous take on swinging London and the sexual revolution. Gawky young Michael Crawford is a meek landlord who vies with his ladies-man lodger Ray Brooks for the attentions of spirited funny-face Rita Tushingham, whom he literally picks up while pushing his new brass bed through the streets of London. Lester floats his sweet nothing of a goofy romance with an offbeat sense of humor, a compendium of sight gags and non sequiturs stirred in with devil-may-care spirit, and a pair of winning leads. Crawford's underdog desperation and endearing naiveté makes for an appealingly nerdish hero, but it's Tushingham's kooky charm and deft comic delivery that steal the film. A lovely score by John Barry balances the energy and invention with a tender romanticism. --Sean Axmaker