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Clifton Webb brings the imperious fussiness that made him a prissy film noir icon in such films as Laura and The Dark Corner to the role of Lynn Belvedere, the self-proclaimed genius who takes a position nannying a trio of bratty boys. This professed child-hating bachelor proves to be a godsend for flustered parents Maureen O'Hara and Robert Young. Within days his unconventional mix of child psychology and strict discipline tames the three rambunctious boys--faced with an infant who insists on spattering him with oatmeal, he simply dumps the bowl on the tyke's head. The trouble in paradise begins when a snoopy neighbor spreads gossip about an affair between Belvedere and the mother of the house, which sends hot-headed Dad into a tizzy, but just as things look their darkest Belvedere turns the tables on the neighborhood when the real reason of his suburban relocation is revealed. Director Walter Lang underplays his hand so much that the film takes on all the style of a 1950s TV sitcom, but his fine direction of performers brings out the humor of this middle-class satire with warmth and wit. Ultimately, however, the film belongs to Webb, whose witheringly snide insults and cutting comments roll off his tongue with comic effortlessness. He proved so popular that he starred in a pair of sequels: Mr. Belvedere Goes to College and Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell. --Sean Axmaker
Top Customer Reviews
Complications ensue when Tacey King (O'Hara) places an ad for a babysitter after several failures and hires "Lynn Belvedere" sight unseen thinking lynn is a woman only to find arrogant, know-it-all self-described "genius" Mr. Belvedere at her door. He soon takes control of the household and sets things in order, winning the respect of the King's two boys as well as Mr. and Mrs. King themselves. But everything is not sunshine and flowers on Honeysuckle Hill, as neighbors snoop and gossip and outlandish fantasies rule the day.
Most people seem to absolutely love this film, but even though I'm a big Clifton Webb fan I just really like it. The reason is that I have difficulty accepting part of the premise, that the two boys totally take to Mr. Belvedere and completely change their formerly disruptive ways for him. Belvedere is played as pompous and stern, though just to the nice side of those qualities. He's almost as insufferable as Monty Wooly's Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came To Dinner, but manages to also project enough warmth to come across as a good guy. Still, I have trouble imagining boys liking someone who tells them to chew their food "28-times exactly". I guess you just accept it somehow.
At 83 minutes it's a lot of fun and will keep you laughing.
In some ways I think this movie takes a look into a number of family homes. A mother who has her hands full with three active children, a dog, a home to maintain, cooking, cleaning and to top if off being the "perfect" corporate wife. I use the term corporate wife because part of her role includes going to the boss's house for a formal dinner and then playing cards. Her husband Robert Young is a lawyer working at a firm for a lecherous boss who has a Puritan like standard of behavior for his employees but not for himself. The boss's wife meanwhile is clueless about her husband's behavior at the office and thinks that he is the pillar of the community. There is a nosy neighbor who seems to take pleasure inserting himself in every situation with his neighbors then spreading gossip throughout the community. Like the old saying goes " What comes around goes around" Mr. Belvedere ( Clifton Webb) sets things right and all facades of these characters are exposed especially the nosy neighbor. So many life lessons can be learned in these old movies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
not to miss this one as it was very good.
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