Hotel Paradiso (1966): Misconceived Alec Guinness Farce

This misconceived farce, directed by Peter Glenville, is based on the funny French play by Maurice Desvallieres and Georges Feydeau.

Alec Guinness and Robert Morley, two seasoned comedy actors, are wasted due to the inept transfer to the big screen.

While his wife is away tending to a sick friend, Benedict Boniface (Alec Guinness) has an affair with Marcelle Cot (Gina Lollobrigida), the pretty but neglected wife of the pompous architect Henri (Robert Morley). When Henri unexpectedly returns, Marcelle and Benedict don disguises and hide out.

The ensuing comedy of errors contains some funny sight gags and farcical bedroom situations (with opening and closing doors), for which playwright Feydeau is known.

Of the entire cast, only Peggy Mount is effective, as Guinness’s domineering wife.

The film’s running time is only 96 minutes, but it feels longer.

Cast

Alec Guinness as Benedict Boniface

Gina Lollobrigida as Marcelle Cotte

Robert Morley as Henri Cotte

David Battley as George

Ann Beach as Victoire

Marie Bell as la Grande Antoinette

Douglas Byng as Mr. Martin

Derek Fowlds as Maxime

Eddra Gale as Guest

Peter Glenville as the Playwright

Robertson Hare as the Duke

Darío Moreno as the Turk

Peggy Mount as Angelique Boniface

Leonard Rossiter as the Inspector

Akim Tamiroff as Anniello