The April Fools

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The April Fools
The April Fools - Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Produced by Gordon Carroll
Carter De Haven Jr. (associate producer)
Written by Hal Dresner
Starring Jack Lemmon
Catherine Deneuve
Peter Lawford
Jack Weston
Myrna Loy
Charles Boyer
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Cinematography Michel Hugo
Edited by Bob Wyman
Distributed by National General Pictures
Release date
  • May 28, 1969 (1969-05-28)
Running time
95 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.5 million (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

The April Fools is a 1969 romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve. It was directed by Stuart Rosenberg.


Howard Brubaker (Lemmon) is married to Phyllis (Sally Kellerman), who doesn't love him. Catherine (Deneuve) is the stunning wife of an equally uncaring husband, Howard's philandering boss Ted Gunther (Peter Lawford).

The very evening of the same day Ted promotes Howard, at a house party hosted by Ted, he urges Howard to pick up an available woman at the party and proceeds to show him how. Howard reluctantly tries it on Catherine, who instantly accepts. The two leave the party for the evening and go out for a little adventure on the town, while Ted is oblivious, as he is concentrating on other women at the party.

The two find their marriages are loveless as they discover more about each other that night and decide to run away together the next evening. But Ted doesn't realize the other man is Howard until Howard is about to board the plane with Catherine to go to Paris.


VHS Box Cover
Actor Role
Jack Lemmon Howard Brubaker
Catherine Deneuve Catherine Gunther
Peter Lawford Ted Gunther
Myrna Loy Grace Greenlaw
Charles Boyer Andre Greenlaw
Jack Weston Potter Shrader
Sally Kellerman Phyllis Brubaker
Gary Dubin Stanley Brubaker
Melinda Dillon Leslie Hopkins
Kenneth Mars Les Hopkins
David Doyle Orlow P. Walters
Susan Barrett Singer
Dee Gardner Naomi Jackson
Harvey Korman Matt Benson
Lisa Todd Safari Club Waitress


The female lead was originally going to be played by Shirley MacLaine but she was not available due to commitments on Sweet Charity and campaigning for Robert F. Kennedy. Catherine Deneuve was cast instead.[2]


The New York Times review said, "The April Fools, written by Hal Dresner and directed by Stuart Rosenberg, manipulates its stereotypes with elegance and style. ... The best things in the movie, however, are the extraordinarily good supporting performances by Peter Lawford (Miss Deneuve's husband), Jack Weston, Harvey Korman, Sally Kellerman, and by two stars who invented movie elegance almost 30 years ago, Charles Boyer and Myrna Loy."[3]

Paperback Novelization[edit]

Published slightly in advance of the film's release (as was the usual custom of the era), a paperback screenplay novelization by the ubiquitous and gifted tie-in scribe William Johnston was issued by Popular Library.


The April Fools
Performed by Dionne Warwick
w. Hal David m. Burt Bacharach

I Say a Little Prayer
w. Hal David m. Burt Bacharach


The April Fools was released to DVD by Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment on January 28, 2014 as a Region 1 Widescreen DVD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1969", Variety, 7 January 1970, p. 15
  2. ^ Lemmon Chooses Co-Star for 'Fools', Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, California], 25 June 1968: f6
  3. ^ "Movie Review : April Fools' Arrives". Retrieved 25 October 2017. 

External links[edit]