The Pleasure Seekers
|The Pleasure Seekers|
|Directed by||Jean Negulesco|
|Written by||John H. Secondari (novel)
Edith R. Sommer
|Music by||Lionel Newman|
|Cinematography||Daniel L. Fapp|
|Edited by||Louis R. Loeffler|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
The film was adapted for the screen by Edith R. Sommer, based on the novel Coins in the Fountain by John H. Secondari, and was directed by Jean Negulesco. Ann-Margret sings four songs composed by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen.
This was Gene Tierney's final film. The film was nominated for one Academy Award: Music (Scoring of Music—Adaptation or Treatment) for Lionel Newman and Alexander Courage.
Three beautiful American women come to Madrid and fall in love. Susie Higgins (Pamela Tiffin) arrives and moves in with her old friend Maggie Williams (Carol Lynley) and roommate Fran Hobson (Ann-Margret). Susie experiences a culture shock, when she is informed by Maggie and Fran that all rich, attractive men are taken, and all attractive but poor ones are too proud to take on American women.
It becomes clear to Susie that she is nothing like her roommates. Maggie, for instance, is a secretary who has recently ended an affair and is now in love with her married boss Paul Barton (Brian Keith), much to the dismay of her co-worker Pete McCoy (Gardner McKay), a newspaper man. Fran, an aspiring actress, flamenco dancer and singer, stumbles upon an attractive Spanish doctor Dr. Andres Briones (André Lawrence) and immediately falls for him, even though he does not seem to be interested.
While at the Museo del Prado, Susie catches the eye of wealthy playboy Emilio Lacayo (Anthony Franciosa). Homesick, she is comforted by the kind words of Emilio and dismisses Maggie's warnings that he is a "corrupt, heartless man."
During a party, where Fran delivers a musical performance, Susie is surprised by Emilio's interest in another girl and his lack of attention for her. Maggie is upset that a dance between her and Paul is interrupted by his jealous wife Jane (Gene Tierney). She asks Pete for a ride home and learns his plans to leave Madrid for Paris, which is caused by his dislike of Paul. Feeling that he is behaving too much like a playboy, Maggie admits that she thinks that Pete could be a great newspaper man if he tried.
The next morning, Susie attempts to take revenge on Emilio with a devious plan. Fran offers to aid her, but when she crosses paths with Dr. Briones, she dismisses her friend to spend a romantic afternoon with him. Briones criticizes Fran's mockery of her own career, though she rationalizes this by claiming that one should not be serious about a career that is going nowhere. Hereafter, she claims that Briones has left her and that she is planning on returning to the United States.
Susie sets out to make Emilio believe that she is falling for him. When he proposes marriage, she hastily accepts and rushes into the proceedings -- with the intention to scare him off -- much to his surprise. Later that night, she confronts him about his playboy behavior, but Emilio claims that he has fallen for her.
At the office, Maggie discusses Pete's love for her and Paul expresses his dissatisfaction with current life. It leads to a romantic embrace. Pete walks in on them and storms off.
Paul wakes up Maggie that night with a phone call, saying he needs Pete for an assignment. Maggie is upset that Paul assumes that Pete would be with her at night. She throws a tantrum, blaming him for thinking that she is "easy."
Susie comforts her by informing her about her engagement to Emilio. Then they find out that Fran has left the house. They worry about her, without realizing that she is spending her final days in Madrid happily with Briones. Fran offers to cancel her plane to stay with Briones in Madrid, helping him to save money for his clinic, though he has too much pride to ask her not to leave. Fran returns home, telling her friends that Briones was too poor to support her.
Susie is stood up by Emilio on an afternoon when she is scheduled to meet his mother (Isobel Elsom). She decides to visit by herself, and is shocked that Mrs. Lacayo has no idea who she is. The older woman apologizes for her son's behavior and explains that this is not the first time that Emilio misled a girl, leaving Susie heartbroken.
Back at home, Maggie runs to a formal party with Paul, where she is confronted by Jane for being Paul's mistress. Maggie defends herself by claiming that Jane has lost her husband due to her lack of love for him, and when she furthermore expresses her pity, Jane slaps her and leaves. Maggie gets drunk and allows Pete to take her home. They are about to kiss when she passes out.
The following day, Maggie visits the office to inform Paul that she will return to New York with Fran and Susie. Paul accepts the situation and even arranges a meeting with Emilio to make him realize that he has made a mistake with Susie. On their final evening, the three women attend yet another party, where Paul announces his shift to New York. The women decide to stay and are all reunited with their men, though Maggie ends not with Paul, but with Pete, who will be Paul's successor in Madrid.
- Ann-Margret as Fran Hobson
- Carol Lynley as Maggie Williams
- Pamela Tiffin as Susie Higgins
- Anthony Franciosa as Emilio Lacayo
- Gardner McKay as Pete McCoy
- André Lawrence as Dr. Andres Briones
- Brian Keith as Paul Barton
- Gene Tierney as Jane Barton
- Vito Scotti as Neighbor Man
- Isobel Elsom as Dona Teresa Lacayo
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p254
- Anticipated rentals accruing distributors in North America. See "Top Grossers of 1965", Variety, 5 January 1966 p 36