I had watched this film for one reason, and one reason alone. That reason, was Roddy McDowall. Other than the fact he was in it, there were no other expectations. Though, I wouldn't have been disappointed had there been. This film, in my opinion, was magnificent.
Roddy plays Alan "Mollymauk" Musgrave... an extremely brilliant young man who finds himself madly in love with Barbara Ann Greene (Tuesday Weld), a fellow student at their school. Mollymauk promises Barbara Ann that he will get her anything she wants; sweaters, popularity, etc. And subsequently follows through with his word every time.
Regardless of everything Alan has already done for Barbara Ann, she has got her eyes set on Bob (Martin West). So once again, it's the cunning and charming Mollymauk who grants her the wish, and soon those two are hitched.
But when Barbara Ann wants to go have a screen test for a movie, her new husband disapproves... Which leads to her wanting a divorce from Bob. Mollymauk goes above and beyond just granting Barbara Ann a divorce... he's going to kill Bob. There are then many unsuccessful attempts made. Soon enough, Bob transforms from that arrogant schmuck you despise, into this really helpless, abused, pitiful guy, who you feel rather bad for.
It cannot be denied a huge part of what made this such an appealing and delightful film had been my extreme partiality toward Roddy McDowall. For us fans, Lord Love a Duck is definitely essential for viewing, as it's a wonderful vessel to show off his incredible talent. Mollymauk is as much lovable as he is diabolical. Truly, an absolute treat to watch.
That being said, this is certainly not a film for everyone. It's a dark comedy, and satire of popular culture from the then 1960's. You'll see the extremely dated, typical cheesy beach party scenes, and other odd stuff. From the perspective of someone who likes extremely corny, low-budget, terrible movies though, the addition of these hysterical elements are happily welcomed.
Other characters in this film include Barbara Ann's mother, Marie (Lola Albright) a self-deprecating cocktail waitress. And then there is Bob's eccentric mother, Stella (Ruth Gordon), who Alan turns into a boozer.
Yes, quite a wickedly lovely film, indeed.