The Grass Is Greener
|The Grass Is Greener|
|Directed by||Stanley Donen|
James H. Ware
|Music by||Noël Coward|
|Edited by||James Clark|
Grandon Productions Ltd
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$6 million (US)|
The Grass Is Greener is a 1960 comedy film directed by Stanley Donen and starring Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, and Jean Simmons. The film was adapted by Hugh Williams and Margaret Vyner from the play of the same name which they had written and found success with in London's West End.
A suave, somewhat obnoxious American oil tycoon, Charles Delacro (Robert Mitchum), barges into the lady of the manor's private quarters, either deliberately or by mistake. He introduces himself, explaining the family name was originally "Delacroix" but his grandfather tired of Americans pronouncing the "X" in the name.
Delacro's attentions to the Countess turn her head. Rather than behave jealously, the Earl invites the American to come visit, taking their guest fishing as part of a bid to impress the importance of heritage on Delacro. Also visiting is an ex-girlfriend of Lord Rhyall's, the American heiress Hattie Durant (Jean Simmons).
A love triangle (or quadrangle) soon develops. Determined to remain civilized at all times, the Earl pretends not to know that his wife has begun having an affair with Delacro at his London hotel, or that her new mink coat is a gift from her lover.
He does suggest to Delacro, however, that he feels a compulsion to defend his wife's honor, and therefore challenges the American to a duel. They aim and fire once apiece inside the mansion, where the Earl is wounded in the arm while Delacro is unharmed. It is soon revealed that Sellers, the family butler who loaded the pistols, made sure both men were firing blanks while he, Sellers, an expert shot, wounded the Earl with a weapon of his own.
As much as she would like to, Hilary cannot bring herself to leave her loving husband for the new man in her life. Delacro drives off, taking Hattie with him.
- Cary Grant as Victor, Earl of Rhyall
- Deborah Kerr as Hilary, Countess of Rhyall
- Robert Mitchum as Charles Delacro
- Jean Simmons as Hattie Durant
- Moray Watson as Trevor Sellers, the Butler
British interior decorator Felix Harbord served as the film's special consultant for settings. Osterley Park was used as the location for the stately home.
While the film was a moderate success at the United Kingdom box office, the film was a box office bomb in the United States. Despite this, the film was reviewed positively by critics and has since developed a following and has been a staple of American cable television. At the time of its release, Jean Simmons's performance as a madcap heiress earned some praise and a Laurel Award nomination.