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[Film Review] Something for Everyone (1970) 7.6/10

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A subversive happy-ever-after comedy directed by the famed Broadway director Harold Prince, who has only directed 2 pictures for the celluloid. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE stars a fresh-faced Michael Fork as a twenty-some stripling Konrad Ludwig, insinuates his way into the family ofwidowed Countess Herthe von Ornstein (Lansbury), whose financial situation is running on empty in spite of owning a Mittel-european castle, which,curtailed by an inheritance entail, is prohibited to sell.

Who is Konrad anyway? Throughout the whole movie, audience has no inkling of his past, like a tabusa rasa, he pops up from nowhere, and miracle comes about around him just like the butterfly of a rare species landing on his hand in the opening, he can always find "something for everyone", a miracle worker indeed, but mo...

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A subversive happy-ever-after comedy directed by the famed Broadway director Harold Prince, who has only directed 2 pictures for the celluloid. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE stars a fresh-faced Michael Fork as a twenty-some stripling Konrad Ludwig, insinuates his way into the family ofwidowed Countess Herthe von Ornstein (Lansbury), whose financial situation is running on empty in spite of owning a Mittel-european castle, which,curtailed by an inheritance entail, is prohibited to sell.

Who is Konrad anyway? Throughout the whole movie, audience has no inkling of his past, like a tabusa rasa, he pops up from nowhere, and miracle comes about around him just like the butterfly of a rare species landing on his hand in the opening, he can always find "something for everyone", a miracle worker indeed, but morbidly, with a tendency of homicide if he sees fit. Chirpily injecting its daringly amoral keynote with a tongue-in-cheek mischief, the story sends Konrad rising through ranks, and plays up his pansexuality with utter candidness. Soon Konrad incubates a scheme to bring affluence and glory back to the castle, through a marriage arrangement between Herthe’s son Helmuth (a wiry and delectable Higgins) and Anneliese (Weis), the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pleschke (Gill and Meineke respectively), a nouveau riche couple salivating for aristocratic luxury.

But there is a catch, both Helmuth and Anneliese are Konrad's lovers (and clearly he has a preference), the aftermath of their disastrous honeymoon drives Konrad’s plan to an almost breaking point, but thankfully, the marriage is official and money is secured, so it is just a matter of dispensing with those unwelcome nuisances, between the patrician and the parvenu, it is a cinch to guess when side Prince/Konrad is inclined to choose by thinking on their feet.

Konrad’s star is rising, he cannot get a break, Herthe is swept off her feet eventually, a marriage proposal, however scandalous, is propounded, and he is in no place to decline, in the final twist, there is someone in the upper crust finally can give Konrad a good run for his money, it is neither the self-involving Herthe, nor the effete Helmuth, but a cherubic lass who sees through Konrad's trickery and ploys, and gets what she always want through blackmail without hazarding her own safety, now we are talking about a film truly merits a sequel treatment.

Angela Lansbury entrancingly flaunts royal poise and rhetoric, a facade she nails on the stage but rarely opens to his film audience, and Michael York, is such a unique leading man, angular, confident, charisma-oozing, and the pride in his eyes is undiminished. As a comedy ruthlessly sends up a morally conscious society, this little-seen picture is a blast from the past, and worth being dusted off to, at the very least, give a scare to the prim, proper and prudish.

referential point: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s THEOREM (1968, 7.3/10)

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