Perfect Furlough, The (DVD Review)15 Feb, 2010 By: Mike Clark
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Stars Tony Curtis, Linda Cristal, Janet Leigh.
Even when the movie isn’t all that artful, the art of director Blake Edwards ceases to exist without letterboxing.
Edwards has almost always worked in CinemaScope or Panavision (Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a major exception), and even a trifle like 1958’s The Perfect Furlough needs the widescreen treatment its compositions of actors and scenery get here.
Though Jean-Luc Godard wrote about it fondly at the time, and Edwards liked it himself, this is fluff: Tony Curtis (a corporal not to be trusted) is given a Paris furlough with an Argentine actress (Linda Cristal) to boost the morale of his unit — putting him at odds with a female lieutenant (Janet Leigh) on to his tricks.
But once the story gets out of confined spaces, and Edwards can get out into the countryside, the movie is a pleasant diversion.
Notably, it led to the director re-teaming with screenwriter Stanley Shapiro for the following year’s Operation Petticoat, which merely became the biggest box office hit Universal ever had up to that time and also the biggest of Cary Grant’s career.