Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Ugly Duckling: Stockard Channing
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY TO ... (1973 telefilm). Director: Lee Philips. Co-written by Joan Rivers.

Miriam Knight (Stockard Channing) is a bright, energetic young woman with a great sense of humor who has, unfortunately, committed the crime of being unattractive. She is cruelly taunted by men and women alike, but when a twist of fate offers her an opportunity to become good-looking, she uses her new appearance to take revenge on her tormentors. The Girl Most Likely To ... is a black comedy that greatly benefits from the performance of an excellent Channing [The Truth About Jane], who continued to show off her acting chops in role after role on screen and on stage later on. As the movie is played for laughs and is often quite funny, one can ignore the fact that Miriam becomes slightly sociopathic and doesn't seem to care about any innocents who may become embroiled in her schemes, but it's fun, frankly, to see her abusers get their just desserts and then some. Ed Asner [Gunn] is also terrific as a cop investigating the murders, and Susanne Zenor makes an impression as Miriam's roommate, who has a horrendous voice to go along with her bosomy blondness. Warren Berlinger, Fred Grandy, Ruth McDevitt, Larry Wilcox, and Joe Flynn, among others, also have nice turns in the pic. The film scores points for making trenchant observations about the dark side of human nature in a humorous fashion that never quite disguises the understandable bitterness underneath,. Director Lee Philips was also an actor [Peyton Place]; most of his acting and directorial assignments were for television.

Verdict: The worm turns ... ***.


angelman66 said...

This black comedy is a little known gem, I remember it well.
Stockard Channing was a star from the very beginning!

William said...

Yes, she just jumps out at you -- a very wise casting choice!