Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Surely Their Best Friends Should Have Told Them

Cleveland Press May 26, 1967

"Caprice" has so many divergent ingredients, each previously associated with box office hits, that one might think it had been put together by a computer.

Except that any computer would have blown a few tubes over the lack of logic and relevancy throughout the film.

The whole set-up is about as phony as Doris Day's latest hairdo, which is phony indeed. The movie, a suspense comedy about industrial espionage and narcotics smuggling, has individual scenes which are wacky enough to be amusing by themselves. Together, however, they never add up to very much.

MISS DAY, at the picture's outset, has been caught selling the secrets of one cosmetics firm to another. Hired by the second company it turns out that she has been planted there by the first company to continue her spying.

Now the second company employs Richard Harris to spy on Miss Day from the first company, or is he spying for someone else? Let it pass, it doesn't matter.

Harris -- in the best James Bond tradition -- has a string of gorgeous girls sighing over him, thus providing one basic ingredient for this sort of movie.

BEST BIT in "Caprice" has Harris trying to get Miss Day's conversation recorded on tape by way of a transmitter hidden in a sugar cube while she thwarts him by munching potato chips while she talks. It comes over funnier than it sounds.

Jack Kruschen is his usually reliable comic self as the head of one of the companies. Edward Mulhare is slick but obvious as his rival and Ray Walston overacts as a scientist with a personality quirk.

Harris fills the bill in his tongue-in-cheek role and Doris Day is simply Doris Day.

THE picture might have been helped if someone had decided to stick to one form or the other -- the spoofing inherent in the business of spies stealing cold cream and hair spray formulas, Or the heavy menace of narcotics smuggling dragged in at the end with attempted murder and a clue to the culprit that is rather bizarre.

But as Kruschen points out in the beginning: "The idea of espionage involving an under arm deodorant would strike the public as pretty silly."

This movie may have the same effect.