Review of 'The Millionairess'

the_millionairess.jpg Spoiled heiress Epifana (Sophia Loren) is attracted to Indian Dr. Kabir (Peter Sellers) who runs a small clinic in London. Kabir initially shows no interest in Epifana but warms to her as she shows great persistence in winning him over. They agree to follow their respective family's conditions for their marriage: Epifana must live off a small amount of money (35 shillings) for 90 days in London and Kabir must be able to turn £500 into £15,000 in the same period. While Epifana thrives, Kabir's humanity threatens his challenge…

I very much wanted to like this film, being a particular fan of Peter Sellers but here it is a very straight-up portrayal of an Indian medical doctor (those with modern sensitivities may find his accent and makeup in bad taste). It is Loren as the outrageous Epifana that delivers much of what infrequent humour there is, particularly the scenes of her throwing a tantrum. The acting is reasonable but, to be honest, there is not really a lot for the actors to do with the simple characterisation and plot. Many will probably raise an eyebrow at the somewhat dubious morality of the story (and the similarly uncomfortable conclusion).

The story is a simple one though, as you may expect, not terribly realistic which would not be a problem were it often so uninteresting. The sets are reasonable for the time in which the film was made but, to be honest, it is the characters here that are the focus.

If you are in the mood for a bit of light entertainment and are able to live with a decidedly against-type, unfunny Peter Sellers, “The Millionairess” is for you.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2020-05-23

Directed by: Anthony Asquith

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Year: 1960

Length: 90 minutes

Genre: Comedy