Kiss Me, Stupid

1964, NR, 126 min. Directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Kim Novak, Dean Martin, Felicia Farr, Cliff Osmond, Ray Walston.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Mon., July 8, 2002

Kiss Me, Stupid

The smutty humor of this Billy Wilder farce got it in trouble with critics, the Catholic Legion of Decency, and other self-appointed American censors at the time of its Christmas release in 1964. The story involves a womanizing crooner named Dino (Martin) whose car "breaks down" in Climax, Nevada, where he is at the mercy of piano teacher/unpublished tunesmith (Walston) and his partner (Osmond). Dino might be interested in picking up one of their songs if he can also pick up the piano teacher's shapely wife - who is being impersonated by the town's freelance prostitute. Later, one marital infidelity prompts another in order to right the universe. Instead of her usually stolid performances, Novak here reveals a suppleness and grace rarely exhibited in her other films. Undeniably lewd, Kiss Me, Stupid exemplifies the go-go Rat Pack sexual sensibilities that fed the American appetite in the dawn of the sexual revolution. It was one of Wilder's biggest flops.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Billy Wilder
Something Wilder
Something Wilder
AFS Essential Cinema: Censors, Drop Your Scissors! Billy Wilder's Later Comedies

Marjorie Baumgarten, Aug. 28, 2009

More Billy Wilder Films
One, Two, Three
Wilder mixed the Cold War and the Berlin Wall with his comedic sensibilities and turned a diplomatic nightmare into a take-no-prisoners assault on the funny ...

Marjorie Baumgarten, June 3, 2002

The Apartment
Lemmon plays a company man who tries to climb the corporate ladder by loaning out his bachelor pad to illicitly trysting higher-ups. As usual, office politics makes for some strange bedfellows in this comedy.

Marjorie Baumgarten, July 20, 2001

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Nomadland
Story of America's itinerant population wanders too much

Feb. 19, 2021

The Reason I Jump
Poetic insight into autism, based on Naoki Higashida memoir

Jan. 8, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Kiss Me, Stupid, Billy Wilder, Kim Novak, Dean Martin, Felicia Farr, Cliff Osmond, Ray Walston

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle