There is a warning against house friends

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German title There is a warning against house friends
Original title The grass is greener
Country of production UK
original language English
Publishing year 1960
length 100 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Stanley Donen
script Hugh Williams and Margaret Vyner
production Milton Sparrow
music Noël Coward
camera Christopher Challis
cut James B. Clark

Be warned of house friends is the title of a British comedy film from 1960 , a Technicolor film in Technorama , originally from Universal Filmverleih. The script was written by the British couple, Hugh Williams and Margaret Vyner by her stage comedy The Grass is Greener (The Grass Is Greener) .


Count Victor Rhyall and his wife Hilary have been married for 12 years. They live at Lynley Hall Castle, most of which they have given public viewing due to financial difficulties.

The private rooms are excluded, and yet the American oil millionaire Charles Delacro intrudes into Hilary's room. She fails to get the uninvited guest to leave again. Rather, he knows how to involve her in an amusing conversation that leads to a flirtation and ends with him kissing her.

When Victor enters the room immediately afterwards, he immediately notices that something must have happened. Quite a gentleman, he ignores the embarrassing situation as it should be for an English nobleman. When they talk about a mutual friend, he even invites the guest to stay for tea. The agitated Hilary, however, implores him to leave immediately. Charles complies, but not without having invited Hilary to London.

After initial hesitation, Hilary decides to go to London - supposedly only at an early appointment with her regular hairdresser and to stay with her friend Hattie. Meanwhile, Charles finds Hilary's hairdresser and waits for her there. Hilary has nothing left to offer that much attention. She gives herself to him and stays in London longer than planned.

Hattie realizes her friend's amorous missteps. For her part, she used to go after Victor and sees her time to refresh the old relationship. So she visits him and tells the horned husband what has happened.

He had previously endured everything in British hypothermia, but when he heard that the American millionaire had given his wife the long-awaited mink coat , he decided to fight for her. He calls Charles and invites him to his castle. He plays the ignorant and asks if he could bring Hilary with him, who is also currently in London. Charles accepts the invitation and brings Hilary to the joint meeting that Victor has arranged.

In a neat conversation, peppered with ambiguities, the atmosphere between the two men becomes more and more tense, until the lord finally challenges his rival to a pistol duel . Charles misses, but Victor is still injured in the arm thanks to a stealth shot by his butler in the hip. The fictitious bloody tragedy has a happy ending: Hilary realizes that she still loves her husband - and Hattie catches Charles.


In one of the dialogues the use of the word paramount is criticized; Universal and Paramount Pictures were not yet united as UIP at that time.

When Victor called Charles' London hotel, he poses as Rock Hudson and explains that this is the only way to get attention these days.

Robert Mitchum said of his role in Before House Friends Are Warned :

“After all, I don't have to grow a beard, fall off my horse or carry a guy around on my back. I don't have much to say about happiness because I can't even remember a little bit of what I have to say. I have an assistant on the sidelines of the set who tells me when to answer 'why' or 'oh really' when Cary Grant has finished his speech. "(Quoted from Michael Althen : Robert Mitchum , Heyne Filmbibliothek Nr. 10100)

A recurring theme in the dialogues is the differences between American and British English; Mitchum's character says: "Sometimes I'm convinced that the greatest barrier between our countries is the bond of a common language." ( IMDb ) This aphorism was previously ascribed to George Bernard Shaw .

Part of the film was shot at the English country estate in Osterley Park near London.

The humorous title sequence, in which babies playing in a meadow "represent" actors and crew, was designed by Maurice Binder . This attracted the attention of producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman . They hired him for James Bond - 007 is chasing Dr. No , for whom he designed the world-famous pistol barrel sequence, among other things. From fireball to license to kill , Binder later designed all the title sequences of the James Bond films.


  • The owners of Radio City Music Hall in New York wanted to show the film as a Christmas 1960 film, but canceled it because they didn't like it.
  • Variety wrote, House friends being warned is a boring exercise in style.
  • Hollywood Reporter said: No glittering stars, not even shimmering ones.
  • The evangelical film observer has a better opinion : “Adultery and the return of a woman are properly staged. Despite some blemishes as upscale entertainment from the age of 18 possible. "(Review No. 269/1961)


  • Illustrated film stage. Munich, No. 5686.


  • Hugh Williams, Margaret Williams: The grass is greener . Comedy in 2 acts. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg (English: The Grass Is Greener . Translated by Oskar Willner , stage manuscript, around 1960).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. This dialog is shown as a split screen ; at the end of the call, Victor snaps a foreign object out of his drinking glass and Charles appears to be struck by the drops.
  2. Quotation from