The Man Who Loved Women (1983 film)

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The Man Who Loved Women
The man who loved woman.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBlake Edwards
Produced byTony Adams
Blake Edwards
Screenplay byBlake Edwards
Milton Wexler
Geoffrey Edwards
Story byMichel Fermaud
Suzanne Schiffman
François Truffaut
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyHaskell Wexler
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • December 16, 1983 (1983-12-16)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million[1]
Box office$10,964,231[2]

The Man Who Loved Women is a 1983 American comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Burt Reynolds, Julie Andrews and Kim Basinger. It is a remake of the 1977 French film L'Homme qui aimait les femmes.

It chronicles the affairs of an artist, as told from the perspective of his analyst and eventual lover. She chronicles his obsessive love of women, which leads to his eventual death.

Plot synopsis[edit]

David Fowler (Reynolds) is a successful sculptor whose fast and loose lovelife slams him head-on into a mid-life crisis when his insatiable hunger for women begins to render him socially, artistically, and sexually impotent. His quest to end his losing streak leads him to the couch of attractive psychiatrist Marianna (Andrews), to whom David must explain everything—beginning with his first sexual encounter—in an attempt to regain control of his life.

David relates his exploits, including an affair with Louise, a beautiful woman married to a Texas millionaire, who likes to have sex in risky public places. He also has a fling with Agnes, mistaking her for a woman he saw on the street whose legs were all of her that he could view.

David ultimately falls in love with Marianna, his therapist, who must cease seeing him as a patient to indulge their affair. His funeral draws women of all kinds, lining up to pay their last respects.



In September 1982 Blake Edwards announced he would make the film with Warren Beatty.[3] Dustin Hoffman had reportedly turned down the lead role.[4]

Eventually Beatty dropped out. In December 1982 Burt Reynolds signed to star.[5]

Edwards wrote the script with Milton Wexler, his therapist.[6] Wexler and Edwards had analysed scripts for years, including Edwards'. "I said if we could come up with something good and startling we'd do one together," said Edwards.[7]

There were a number of American remakes of French films at the time, others including Buddy Buddy, The Toy, Breathless and Blame It On Rio.

Filming started in March 1983.[8]

A scene was improvised between Reynolds and Julie Andrews, playing Reynolds' therapist. Unbeknownst to Reynolds, Andrews wore an earpiece and received advice from Wexler as she asked questions to Reynolds.[7]

"Burt came to me and asked me if it was valid for this character to want children," said Edwards. "I said it was. Burt said he had been longing to have a family. We set up three cameras and asked Burt why he wanted to have children. He said he had been thinking about adopting a child. And that led to the scene. It was fascinating. Burt shifts in and out of the character several times." But it was not used because "It's too real. It almost makes you uncomfortable. It's so emotional, so poignant."[9]

New Ending[edit]

Columbia, who financed the film, were dissatisfied with the film's ending, wondering it might be too bleak. They requested Edwards consider shooting a new one. Edwards had endured painful experiences with Hollywood studios in the past - he immortalised them in his film S.O.B. - but because the relationship with Columbia had been good, he agreed. "Burt was against it and technically I didn't have to but it had been a good experience up until then and I wanted to be co operative."[7] Five months after filming ended and one month before it was to be released, Edwards reshot the ending. The scene did not involve Reynolds, but some of his conquests, including those played by Julie Andrews, Marilu Hunner and Kim Basinger. This was done to make the film less bleak. The extra scene was shot over two days.[1]

The new ending was screen tested and reports were positive. However the two different endings were both screened on December 3 in some "controlled research screenings" and the original ending was strongly preferred. Columbia decided to release the original ending. "Trying to read the research is not always an exact science," said Columbia's then head of production, Guy McElwaine.[10]


While the original 1977 French film was greatly appreciated, the American remake was a box office flop and a critical failure.[citation needed] In the United States, the film opened at #10 and went on to gross $10,964,231 (equivalent to $27,581,000 in 2018).

Follow Up[edit]

Edwards and Reynolds enjoyed working together and initially planned to do a remake of the Laurel and Hardy short, Music Box with Richard Pryor.[11] Pryor backed out and instead Edwards and Reynolds teamed on City Heat (1984), although Edwards would leave the project.


  1. ^ a b FILM CLIPS: 'SILKWOOD' STILL STIRRING ABC Pictures and Kerr-McGee are poised for a battle over facts surrounding the life and death of Karen Silkwood 'SILKWOOD' FLAP London, Michael. Los Angeles Times 18 Nov 1983: j1.
  2. ^
  3. ^ NY CLIPS Rita Gam is alive, well and writing memoirs O'Toole, Lawrence. The Globe and Mail17 Sep 1982: E.1.
  4. ^ SAVORING HIS 'TOOTSIE' ROLE Pollock, Dale. Los Angeles Times 16 Dec 1982: m1.
  5. ^ Tempo: Inheritance still not in Francesca Hilton's future Beck, Marilyn. Chicago Tribune 22 Dec 1982: d9.
  6. ^ THE TALK OF HOLLYWOOD; Freud Might Frown At Psychiatrists' Role In the World of Films Weinraub, Bernard. New York Times11 Oct 1993: C.11.
  7. ^ a b c CRITIC AT LARGE: EDWARDS, HOLLYWOOD IN DETENTE CRITIC AT LARGE: BLAKE EDWARDS Champlin, Charles. Los Angeles Times1 Dec 1983: i1.
  8. ^ MOVIE ATTENDANCE IS WAY UP DESPITE PAY-TV COMPETITION Ryan, Desmond. Philadelphia Inquirer6 Mar 1983: I.3.
  9. ^ Burt's best scene not in film The Globe and Mail 17 Dec 1983: E.4.
  10. ^ FILM CLIPS: 'FOOTLOOSE' A SAMPLE OF ROCK VIDEO IN REVERSE FILM CLIPS London, Michael. Los Angeles Times 14 Dec 1983: j1.
  11. ^ STAN & OLLIE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME Selvin, Rick. Philadelphia Daily News5 July 1983: 34.

External links[edit]