Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

The Statue

Cleveland Press March 8, 1971

"The Statue" is a one-joke (mostly off-color variety) movie that derives most of its laughs from the embarrassment of its hero.

The hero is David Niven who deserves better but with out whom the picture would certainly flounder worse than it now does.

Niven is cast as a Nobel Prize winner who has invented a universal language. The poor fellow is speechless however when he arrives home and finds that his artist wife (Virna Lisi) has created an 18-foot statue of him-all nude.

THE STATUE was commissioned by the United States Government and is due to stand in London's Grovesnor Square. Niven isn't about to see a marble version of himself in the buff on public display but that's not the point of the comedy. The point is that while most of the body is his, one vital organ is not. And there you have it.

The rest of the movie concerns Niven's suspicions of his wife, his pursuit of a list of some 30 men in an attempt to identify the model for the statue and the efforts of the U.S. Government, in the form of ambassador Robert Vaughn, to get out of an embarrassing predicament.

THE PICTURE leans heavily on double entendre and more sniggering per minute than any previous film. Before it is over the CIA, the Marines and the international police have been involved.

One character describes the situation as a stag version of Cinderella and that about sums it up. This is another in a series of adolescent adult comedies that indicates not that the movie industry has come of age but has simply grown tall enough to scribble on latrine walls.