Grass Is Greener, The (1960): Stanley Donen’s Romantic Comedy Starring Cary Grant and Robert Mitchum

Adapted by Hugh and Margaret Williams from their own stage play, Stanley Donen’s The Grass Is Greener is a light, slight, charming comedy of manners.

It’s the kind of feature whose appeal is entirely dependent on the quartet of glorious actors (all of whom could have played their roles in their sleep).

A chorus of Noël Coward’s “Stately Homes of England” is heard as the opening credits of The Grass Is Greener” fade into several stock shots of those stately homes.

One of these mansions is owned by British Earl Victor Rhyall (Cary Grant), who opens his home to American tourists in order to make ends meet.

One such tourist is wealthy Texas oil man, Charles Delacro (Robert Mitchum), who sets his sights upon Victor’s lovely wife, Hilary (Deborah Kerr).  In his efforts to win back his wife, Victor brings in his former girlfriend Hattie Durant (Jean Simmons).

The central couple argue and spar, consider divorce and the two men even engage in a duel before the predictable conclusion sets in.

By today’s standards, the comedy is verbose, predictable, and too theatrical, relying on all the requisite entrances and exits at the right time.  It’s also overlong.

This entry in Cary Grant’s rich output was made late in his career, just years before his retirement.  His next collaboration with Donen, “Charade” in 1963, co-starring Audrey Hepburn, is a more entertaining and better picture.

Directed by Stanley Donen

Written by Hugh and Margaret Williams

In Theaters: Jan 1, 1960 Wide

On DVD: Sep 18, 2001