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They All Laughed

3.4 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

They All Laughed (DVD)

New York's Odyssey Detective Agency is hired by two different clients to follow two women suspected of infidelity. Ladies' man John Russo (Ben Gazzara) trails Angela Niotes (Audrey Hepburn), the elegant wife of a wealthy Italian industrialist, while Charles Rutledge (John Ritter) and Arthur Brodsky follow Dolores Martin (Dorothy Stratten), the beautiful young wife of a jealous husband. Their respective cases are complicated when John falls for Angela, and Charles falls for Dolores.

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Director Peter Bogdanovich started off the 1980s with this trifle: a sweet romantic valentine to a New York City where bumbling detectives fall in love with their targets. This is a Big Apple where country music blares, taxi drivers are gorgeous models, sass permeates, and Ben Gazzara embodies all that is cool. He is the chief hound in the blue-collar Odyssey Detective Agency specializing in observing wives for their suspicious husbands. John Ritter, who became famous four years later with Three's Company, plays the equally daft Charles, a man who literally falls head over heels with cutie-pie Dolores (Dorothy Stratten). Gazzara falls for a socialite played by Audrey Hepburn (in her last starring role). The veteran actors are at their movie-star best. The film has a casual style and charm, another change of pace for Bogdanovich who was still trying to find the magic of his first films (including The Last Picture Show and What's Up, Doc?). He fills the screen with gorgeous females including Patti Hansen as an all-knowing cab driver, Colleen Camp as a country singer, and Stratten, the former Playboy Playmate of the Year. However, if there is a big surprise, it's co-writer/producer Blaine Novak as the long-haired, roller-skating detective Arthur, who has a tart remark for everyone and nearly steals every scene.

The film ran into trouble in post-production when Stratten, who was now an item with Bogdanovich, was murdered by her estranged husband. The eerie similarities with the movie were another reason no studio wanted to release it. Bogdanovich funded it himself and when it bombed, the artistic and personal loss resulted in the director not making a film until Mask, nearly five years later. --Doug Thomas


Special Features

  • Director to Director: a conversation with Peter Bogdanovich and Wes Anderson

Product Details

  • Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara, John Ritter, Dorothy Stratten, Camp
  • Directors: Peter Bogdanovich
  • Format: Full Screen, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2006
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GI3RMY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,448 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "They All Laughed" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Hoyles on March 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This film is perfectly charming all the way through. There's lots of great talent in the star-studded cast and the whole effect is one of a charming fairy tale with wit and humor. The story is just a little bit far-out when private investigators break with their professional code and actually meet and fall in love with the people they are hired to watch. But putting that on one side, this is a lovely story that shows us a charming side of New York. This film rises to the delighful level that one rarely sees in films set in New York. Too many wallow in the 'mean streets' with guns and violence, but this one is a story about people who enjoy the city and move seamlessly through it, jumping from taxi to taxi arriving for meetings and liasons so smoothly. John Ritter shows us he is a master craftsman at being the buffoon and comes up with an assortment of fients, starts and gaffs to lighten the story. Ben Gazzara shows a charmingly romantic side of him, Audrey Hepburn is the masterful actress she always was. The street scenes are entirely authentic and lend credibility to the film. Nice acting, smooth cutting and humorous sub-plots are there too, and these make it all the more real. Dorothy Stratten glows with charm and beauty and is absolutely captivating. Peter Bogdanovich has posed and illuminated her well and she carries herself with confidence. What a charming legacy to leave behind is this film. How sad she was not given the opportunity to do more.
I put this film on whenever I want to be put in a good mood, and visit The City, and the film never fails to show me additional things each time I see it. What a gem
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Format: VHS Tape
The last credit in this film explains its appeal - - Thank you to the people of Manhattan on whose island this was filmed. A charming and witty romantic comedy, it is a love story written to New Yorkers (Peter Bogdanovich is a native) who can identify every location (West 12th Street, Greenwich Avenue - not Street, the Ansonia, the old FAO Schwartz, the Plaza, the Roxy, and City Limits which was a country & western club - not a Tex-Mex joint). One gets the impression that the entire ensemble cast clicked as well off-screen as they do on, and this intimacy is clearly communicated. I laughed, I cried, it was better than CATS. Not only an ode to Dorothy Stratten, it was also one of Audrey Hepburn's last appearances on-screen (if not THE last) and her inner beauty seeps from the screen. Buy it, make a big tub of popcorn, and curl up with someone you love.
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Format: DVD
I think the picture is a neglected masterpiece, a lovely bittersweet romantic postcard to a New York pretty nearly gone now, shot stunningly by Robby Mueller (who also shot Bogdanovich's great SAINT JACK in a similar seat-of-the-pants style). The good news is that the picture on this dvd looks excellent, and the film is actually the original theatrical version (there was a misbegotten director's cut floating around for awhile that took a scene from the middle and stuck it at the beginning for no good reason) WITH additional footage in one sequence that is quite funny. So it takes all the good stuff added to the "director's cut" but keeps the original's superior sequencing.

The DVD also has a conversation between Peter Bogdanovich, the director with young director Wes Anderson, whose quite a fan of the film, plus a commentary. For fans of this film, you couldn't do better than this.
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Format: DVD
There is a certain French farcical charm, however calculated, about director Peter Bogdanovich's 1981 urban valentine to romantic entanglements in Manhattan; but just released on DVD a quarter-century later, the film still feels half-baked in execution. Perhaps because Bogdanovich has too innate a familiarity with Hollywood's golden era, there is just too much pastiche and not enough depth to the shenanigans of three private eyes, their put-upon boss and the various women with whom they intertwine most predictably. The characters come in and out of this omnibus tale like Robert Altman's "Nashville" and Jean Renoir's "Rules of the Game", but the results are not nearly as resonant.

Unfortunately, the movie was jinxed immediately when co-star Dorothy Stratten, who became romantically involved with Bogdanovich during filming, was infamously murdered by her husband right after its completion. If the film was meant as the director's launching pad for Stratten as he did previously for Cybill Shepherd in "The Last Picture Show", he is only partially successful this time as the pretty starlet makes a comparatively modest impression as Dolores, the innocent object of obsession for bumbling detective Charles. These two are part of a larger ensemble, which includes Arthur, a long-haired shamus constantly on roller skates, and John, the veteran investigator who finds himself drawn to Angela Niotes, the possibly philandering wife of an Italian industrialist.

Bogdanovich had the good fortune of casting Audrey Hepburn, in her last feature film starring role, as Angela. Even though her story does not even get going until an hour into the movie, a fiftyish Hepburn looks radiantly stylish and is the epitome of resigned grace as an unhappily married woman.
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