The Pleasure Seekers is a 1964 20th Century Fox motion picture starring Ann-Margret, Anthony Franciosa, and Carol Lynley, with Gardner McKay, Pamela Tiffin, Brian Keith, and Gene Tierney in her final film.
|The Pleasure Seekers|
|Directed by||Jean Negulesco|
|Screenplay by||Edith Sommer|
|Based on||Coins in the Fountain|
by John H. Secondari
|Produced by||David Weisbart|
|Cinematography||Daniel L. Fapp|
|Edited by||Louis R. Loeffler|
|Music by||Lionel Newman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
The film was adapted for the screen by Edith Sommer, based on the 1952 novel Coins in the Fountain by John H. Secondari, and was directed by Jean Negulesco, who also directed the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain. Ann-Margret sings four songs composed by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen.
The film was nominated for one Academy Award: Music (Scoring of Music—Adaptation or Treatment) for Lionel Newman and Alexander Courage.
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (September 2021)
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. In contrast, Susie implies in conversation with her roommates that she is a virgin and tells them, "Don't spread it around!"
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 at the beach in Malagá happily with Briones. Fran offers to cancel her plane to stay with Briones in Malagá, helping him to save money for his clinic, though he has too much pride to ask her not to leave. Fran returns home to Madrid, 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
- Maurice Marsac as Jose
- Shelby Grant as Marian
- Raoul De Leon as Martinez
- Antonio Gades as Flamenco Dancer
- Emilio Diego as Guitarist
The film was announced in February 1964. The original stars to be in it were Ann Margret, Carol Lynley, James Darren and George Chakiris. By April Darren and Chakiris had dropped out, replaced by Gardner MacKay, with Pamela Tiffin as the third girl. Negulsesco said the film would be different from the earlier one. "Instead of Rome, this picture is set in Madrid. Instead of three girls and three mean I'm using four. Naturally the problems of American girls living in Madrid are similar to those in Three Coins but this is 1964 so we'll have more difficulties."
Ann Margret was paid $2,000 a week over ten weeks. This was less than she received for other studios but she had an old commitment to Fox.
Filming started in May which stage Brian Keith had joined the cast.
Several scenes were shot in the Prado Museum in Madrid.
According to Fox records, the film needed to earn $3,900,000 in film rentals to break even and made $3,205,000, meaning it lost money.
- 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
- Stars Celebrate Benny's Birthday: 90 Notables Attend Party; Loren, Peppard a New Team Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 19 Feb 1964: D10.
- Looking at Hollywood: MacArthur Story to Be Made Into Movie Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Tribune ]11 Apr 1964: 16.
- Meet Ann-Margret: Hard Work, Ambition Propel a Young Actress To the Top in Hollywood By DAVID H. KELSEY Wall Street Journal 7 Apr 1964: 1.
- Looking at Hollywood: Brigitte Wanted for Jimmy Stewart Film Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Tribune 7 May 1964: e6.
- Art Treasures Used in Picture Shot in Spain Los Angeles Times 18 Jan 1965: C15.
- Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 324.