“I went through the same thing with John Barrymore”*

by chuckofish

Last night on TCM they showed The World Of Henry Orient (1964), one of Peter Seller’s lesser known movies.

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It is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time.

It is about two misfit girls who go to private school and their infatuation with the pianist Henry Orient (Sellers).

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Marian and Val

I remember watching this movie on television for the first time with my mother in the late sixties. Oh, how I loved Val in her shetland sweaters, knee socks and flaps and hand-me-down fur coat! She was so cool. The girls were sloppy, free-spirited and, to me, very real. Years after seeing it for the first time, I realized that Marian is the one I really relate to–the nerd Val befriends. She is the one who holds it–and Val–together.

Furthermore, it is one of those great New York City movies as well–where everything looks wonderful and romantic. All those scenes adventuring through Central Park, clambering over the Manhattan schist. Sigh.

It is based on a book by Nora Johnson, who went to Smith College and was the daughter of the screenwriter Nunnally Johnson. It is a good book, which at the time it was published was compared to A Catcher int he Rye (!)–but the movie is better than the book (not the Catcher in the Rye). Another fun fact: Merrie Spaeth, who played Marian, also went to Smith College and was the roommate of the older sister of my sophomore year roommate. She went on to become a speechwriter for President Reagan.

I highly recommend this movie. It even takes place at Christmas time!

*Boothy in The World of Henry Orient