The Notorious Landlady

The Notorious Landlady is a 1962 American comedy mystery film starring Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, and Fred Astaire.[3][4] The film was directed by Richard Quine, with a script by Blake Edwards and Larry Gelbart.

The Notorious Landlady
Poster of the movie The Notorious Landlady.jpg
Directed byRichard Quine
Produced byFred Kohlmar
Richard Quine
Written byBlake Edwards
Larry Gelbart
Based onThe Notorious Tenant
1956 Collier's
by Margery Sharp[1][2]
StarringKim Novak
Jack Lemmon
Fred Astaire
Lionel Jeffries
Estelle Winwood
Music byGeorge Duning
CinematographyArthur E. Arling
Edited byCharles Nelson
Color processBlack and white
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 26, 1962 (1962-07-26)
Running time
123 minutes
CountryUnited States


When American diplomat William Gridley arrives in London, he rents part of Carly Hardwicke's house from her and promptly begins to fall in love. Gridley doesn't know that many people think she killed her British husband, Miles Hardwick, because he has disappeared; but without a body, the police cannot do a thing.

Gridley's boss is Franklyn Ambruster, a State Department chief in the American embassy who learns about it and doesn't take this "lapse of judgment" lightly. A Scotland Yard detective arrives at the embassy and convinces Gridley, who by this time is in love with Carly, to spy on her without letting her realize she is being investigated. When a fire erupts as Carly and Gridley are grilling steaks in the backyard of her house, a scandal ensues that is played out in the papers. Since Carly is also American, she goes to the embassy to tell his boss that Gridley is a good man and not to send him out of the country. The boss takes Carly to lunch, becomes smitten with her, and proclaims her innocence.

After Carly has pawned many of her belongings to pay bills, her husband, Miles, shows up alive but then is shot and killed by Carly as Gridley is on the phone with the Scotland Yard detective. Carly is put on trial but is exonerated by the eyewitness testimony of her crippled neighbor's private nurse saying that Miles was attacking Carly. Ultimately Carly tells Gridley that she is being blackmailed by the nurse who wants the pawn ticket to a candelabra that Carly recently pawned. The pawn ticket was actually the cause of the argument between Carly and Miles, who had stuffed the candelabra with stolen jewels. When Gridley and Carly go to retrieve the candelabra, they find the pawnbroker murdered. A chase sequence ensues, and Gridley and Carly find the nurse in the act of pushing her elderly patient off a cliff to silence her story. It was, in fact, the elderly patient who witnessed Miles and Carly fighting, and the nurse merely said she was the one who saw the struggle. Gridley and Carly save the elderly lady as music from The Pirates of Penzance plays, and Gridley's chief and the Scotland Yard detective arrive to find the nurse detained.



Lemmon and Novak had appeared together on screen twice previously, in Phffft! (1954) and in Bell, Book and Candle (1958). In both later films, Novak portrayed a landlady.

The song "A Foggy Day (in London Town)" by George and Ira Gershwin serves as the main theme for the movie and was introduced in the 1937 Fred Astaire film A Damsel in Distress.


  • Nominated for Best Written American Comedy in 1963 at the WGA Awards.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ ""Notorious Tenant" by Margery Sharp, Collier's Weekly, Friday, February 3rd, 1956". Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  2. ^ "The Notorious Landlady (1962) - Articles -". Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  3. ^ Variety film review; June 27, 1962, page 6.
  4. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; June 30, 1962, page 98.
  5. ^ "The Notorious Landlady". 1 April 1962. Retrieved 16 April 2017 – via IMDb.

External linksEdit