Promise Her Anything
Original poster
Directed byArthur Hiller
Screenplay byWilliam Peter Blatty
Based on
Produced byStanley Rubin
Starring
CinematographyDouglas Slocombe B.S.C.
Edited byJohn Shirley
Music byLyn Murray
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 1965 (1965-11) (UK)
  • 22 February 1966 (1966-02-22) (US)
Running time
98 minutes
Countries
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
LanguageEnglish

Promise Her Anything is a 1965 British-American romantic comedy film directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Warren Beatty and Leslie Caron. The screenplay by William Peter Blatty is based on a story by Arne Sultan and Marvin Worth. The supporting cast features Bob Cummings, Keenan Wynn, Hermione Gingold and Lionel Stander.

Plot

Recently widowed Michele O'Brien moves into a Greenwich Village brownstone with her infant son John Thomas. Her neighbor, Harley Rummel, a bohemian who earns a living by making nudie films in his apartment, becomes interested in her, but Michele believes her boss, wealthy psychologist Philip Brock, is a better prospect as a new mate.

Although he is an authority on children, Philip actually despises them, so Michele decides to keep John Thomas a secret for the time being. Unbeknownst to her, Harley is using the baby in his movies. When John Thomas is admitted to Philip's clinic for observation, Harley sneaks into his room to complete a film, but his surreptitious activities are captured by a hidden camera recording the baby's behavior. Michelle is furious but, when he saves John Thomas from a potentially dangerous situation, she forgives Harley and decides he may be the better choice for a father after all.

Cast

Uncredited (in order of appearance)

Production

The film was entirely shot at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England. The original Baby John Thomas was supposed to be played by 2-year-old Philip Barron, but he didn't get on with Warren Beatty and cried almost every time he went near him, so there was a last-minute change and a Michael Bradley was found so production could start, and both children were used during filming. Bad weather delayed filming, and seven minutes were cut from the final edit.

The title song, with music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David, was performed on the soundtrack by Tom Jones.

Novelization

In February 1966, Dell Publishing released a paperback novelization by Al Hine under his frequent tie-in pseudonym, "Bradford Street." There is no attribution to the screenplay, though the 1965 copyright is assigned to Paramount Pictures. The cover price was 45¢ and the cover photos feature stars Beatty and Caron.

Critical reception

Variety called the film "light" and "refreshing" and added, "Well-paced direction of many fine performances, generally sharp scripting and other good production elements add up to a satisfying comedy."[1]

Time Out New York said, "This dull attempt at an offbeat and sophisticated romantic comedy falls flat on its face, thanks largely to the usual sluggish direction from Arthur Hiller [and] ... a dismal script by William Peter Blatty."[2]

References

  1. ^ "Review: Promise Her Anything". Variety. 31 December 1965.
  2. ^ GA. "Promise Her Anything review". Time Out New York.