A FINE MADNESS blows like a hurricane in its attempt to be zany and brash and fails utterly. Sean Connery was attempting to break free from Bondage after the first smashing installments of that series: no one went to see the superb, grueling The Hill or the sexy Woman Of Straw. Even Hitchcock didn’t draw many people into Marnie. Of his initial escape flops, this awful ‘comedy’ is the floppiest.
This loud and dismal, frantic and off-putting 1966 effort, directed by the hit & miss Irwin Kershner, scored a trickling $4,900,000 in receipts, 56th for the year, and nudged head-shakes from reviewers. Sean fans, be warned, you won’t like him in this story of a belligerent poet (as useless a subspecies of dipshit as there is in the brimming gallery of tortured artist types) who rages and shouts, shagging his way across New York City.
Capable supporting cast—Joanne Woodward (screeching), Patrick O’Neal (trying gamely), Jean Seberg (wasted), Colleen Dewhurst (equipped with a Russian accent, vainly battling the script). Backing them are Clive Revill, Werner Peters, John Fiedler, Kay Medford, Jackie Coogan, Sue Ane Langdon (effervescent and naughty, to no avail), Zohra Lampert, Sorrell Booke, Richard Castellano, Renee Taylor, Gerald S. O’Laughlin, James Milhollin.
Script by one Elliot Baker, from his novel. Another lame music score from John Addison. 104 minutes better spent in a laundromat.