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The World's Greatest Lover

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Title: The World's Greatest Lover  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Carol Kane, Harry Nilsson, 1977 in film, Dom DeLuise, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (film), Jack Angel, Lupe Ontiveros, Ralph Burns, List of films: U–W, Elya Baskin
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The World's Greatest Lover

This article is about the movie. For the song, see World's Greatest Lover.
The World's Greatest Lover
File:The World's Greatest Lover.jpg
Directed by Gene Wilder
Produced by Gene Wilder
Frank Baur
(associate prod.)
Written by Gene Wilder
Starring Gene Wilder
Carol Kane
Dom DeLuise
Music by John Morris
Cinematography Gerald Hirschfeld
Editing by Anthony A. Pellegrino
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) 18 December 1977
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4.8 million[1]
Box office $21,000,000[2]

The World's Greatest Lover is a 1977 comedy film directed, written by and starring Gene Wilder, and co-starring Carol Kane. It is a tribute/spoof of classic comedies and 'old Hollywood' of the 1920s.


Set in the silent film era, Rainbow Studios figures they are losing revenue to a rival studio because they don't have Rudolph Valentino. Led by studio head Adolph Zitz, they decide to hold a contest for the World's Greatest Lover in order to find a star to combat Valentino's popularity.

Rudy Hickman is a neurotic baker, but aspires to become a Hollywood star. His entry into the contest (as Rudy Valentine) tests his marriage, and his neuroses manifest in his screen test, where he nearly kills his fellow actress. Surprisingly, this behavior scores favorably with Zitz and the studio executives reviewing his performance. He gets a slot in the final phase of the contest, just after finding his wife Annie has left him.



Critics, who compared it to Wilder's earlier works with Mel Brooks, were largely unimpressed by this film. It gained a 22% "Rotten" rating on the criticism aggregation site, Rotten Tomatoes,[3] as well as a 5.7 on Internet Movie Database.[4]

Despite the negative reception, the film was a commercial success. Produced on a budget of $4.8 million,[1] the film grossed $21 million at the box office,[2] earning $9.9 million US theatrical rentals.[5] It was the 25th highest grossing film of 1977.


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • The World's Greatest Lover at Rotten Tomatoes

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