Fitzwilly (1967)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 12/20/03
Cast: Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Feldon

Contrary to what the title may imply, this is not a porno film. Fitzwilliam (dashing Dick Van Dyke) is the shrewd and charming butler of a penniless old woman, who pulls all sorts of clever heists to maintain his lady's lavish lifestyle and sense of philanthropy. His operations run like a well oiled machine until a new secretary named Juliette Nowell (cute Barbara Feldon) is hired to help the old woman, and her stubborn and inquisitive nature leads to all sorts of trouble for Fitzwilly's den of thieves. Things get even more complicated when their adversarial relationship turns romantic, and Fitzwilly decides to pull off just one more caper before calling it quits and settling down with Juliette. In a sequence that reminded me of "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1999), the troupe creates a major disturbance at a department store and loots the cash office, but not without numerous complications. Fortunately, everything works out for the best.

A charming caper comedy from a more innocent age, this film is a hoot to watch. Dick Van Dyke is wonderful, and the delightful Barbara Feldon is adorable as well as being a dead ringer for Velma on "Scooby Doo." The entire cast is wonderful, the writing is tight, and the pacing is swift and steady. Good fun, without being too sappy and sentimental.