TV Cream

Films: M is for...

Mister Buddwing

James Garner is a Central Park amnesiac, waking up to identity confusion with only a pissed Angela Lansbury for guidance, forming the titular nom de plume from a passing beer lorry, wandering about New York, and bumping into Katherine Ross, actress Suzanne Pleshette and a dirty Jean Simmons, who all sort of trigger memories of his wife – or do they? And is he an escaped lunatic? Meanwhile Lt Uhura shoots some craps, and director Delbert Mann, er, shoots some crap, shamelessly half-inching every modish New Wave trick he can lay his hands on, hence plenty of jump-cutting hand-held nonsense that’s every bit as annoying, in a ‘yes, we see what you were trying to do there’ way, as you might expect. For Euro-inspired self-indulgent Hollywood camerawork that works, see Seconds – *that’s* how to create a disorientating atmosphere, Delboy! Happily yer Mann swiftly moved onto better things, namely Fitzwilly, in which butler Dick Van Dyke has to pull off a variety of heists to stop his boss Dame Edith Evans realising she’s skint. Now, why don’t they ever show that? It’s set at Christmas too, so you’d’ve thought it’d have been a seasonal shoo-in at some point in the past decade, but no.

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