Kiss Me, Stupid

Released in December 1964 by United Artists.  Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin.  Screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond.  Produced and directed by Billy Wilder.  Cast included Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston, Felicia Farr, and Cliff Osmond.

Producer/director/writer Billy Wilder applauded Ira’s suggestion that he “collaborate” again — as he had 17 years earlier on THE SHOCKING MISS PILGRIM — with his brother George on some of their previously-unused material for this sex farce about a pair of amateur songwriters trying to sell their material to a Las Vegas lounge lizard (Dean Martin).  Peter Sellers was to have played one of the writers, but suffered a heart attack during the early weeks of shooting and was replaced by Ray Walston.  The three Gershwin songs had the appearance of minor material (they were meant to be the efforts of “amateur” songwriters, after all), so were never received with open arms and the film’s critical and box-office failure didn’t help.