Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: The Grass is Greener (1960)

This week’s overlooked selection is the 1960 Stanley Donen comedy feature, The Grass is Greener. The film stars an all-star cast including Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons. The film is based on the play of the same name that found success on London’s West End.

Grant and Kerr’s characters, the Rhyalls, are lording it up on a stately English manor that is facing hard financial times. In an effort to raise the money needed to maintain the estate, they decide to open up the house for tourists.

Among the people to come in are the “stereotypically” newly minted American tycoon Charles Delacro (Mitchum) and the Earl Rhyall’s equally annoying ex-sweetheart, American heiress Hattie Durant (Simmons). What follows is a comedy of manners (of sorts) in which the four principal characters find themselves entangled in a ‘love square.’

The film received mixed reviews at the time of its release and was a domestic box office disappointment. While it is admittedly not the best work of any of the folks involved, for fans of any of the actors, it is definitely worth your time.

Check out the trailer here.



  1. I’ve seen this film several times over decades, and in at least two languages, and it coasts along very amiably on the strength and charm of its cast and its lovely cinematography (shame you couldn’t find any colour stills!)- fluff defnitely, but that has its place too. And there’s even a great title sequence by Maurice Binder! A perfect companion piece to another Donen and Grant movie, INDISCREET with Ingrid Bergman.
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    • I know! I was looking for some last night and they seemed to be mostly in B&W.
      Indiscreet is another good Grant title. I love it because it is a reunion of one of my favorite films of all time, Notorious 🙂

  2. Oh, I wasn’t expecting that title sequence, how odd! I am a huge fan of Cary Grant, so I’ll add The Grass is Greener to my list, for sure.
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  3. Patti Abbott says:

    For some reason, I have always liked this film. And I don’t really know what it is that attracts me to it.

  4. Jack Deth says:

    Hi, Iluv and company:

    Excellent choice for a little known gem!

    That lets Cary Grant and Robert Mitchum dabble and have fun with comedy and dry British wit in and around lush scenery and country sides. Though I don’t believe for a second that Deborah Kerr would cheat on Cary Grant.

  5. This is a film that I saw many MANY years ago and for whatever reason never felt the need to see it again. But your review is making me rethink my position. 🙂
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  6. Oh my goodness! The cast is amazing, I mean Grant AND Mitchum, plus the two ladies I’m familiar with as they’re both Peck’s former co-stars (yes, in my classic universe, it sort of revolves around GP). I have to check this one out. Thanks Iba.
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  7. Rod Croft says:

    Perhaps overlooked today, but a fine, amusing and entertaining movie, beautifully acted by professionals of their day, and a film that is still, today, a treat to watch. Grant, Kerr, Mitchum and Simmons show perfectly how to “lift ” a light, subtle comedy to make it soar. The critics of the day were “spoiled” by the variety of films available and the extraordinary talent of actors at the time.

    • Very good point Rod. We definitely have the benefit of hindsight for which to enjoy this film. Wonder what films (if any) we will be saying the same about in 30, 40 and 50 years time?

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