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Joy House

1964 1h 38m Mystery & Thriller List
33% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 64% Audience Score 500+ Ratings
A luckless playboy seeks shelter in a gloomy Riviera villa owned by two wealthy American women. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (6) Critics Reviews
Joan Didion Vogue Alain Delon remains a success story I fail to comprehend. Mar 16, 2020 Full Review Merl Edelman Los Angeles Free Press Though Joy House, with its pyramid of tricks, chases, surprises, secret panels - the lot - never quite thinks to poke the finger of fun at itself, viewers make no such mistake. Feb 5, 2020 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Full of hooey. Rated: C+ Jul 27, 2015 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Jul 15, 2005 Full Review Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal Rated: 4/5 Feb 20, 2004 Full Review Christabel Padmore Apollo Guide Rated: 82/100 Sep 26, 2002 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (18) audience reviews
Matthew D Joy House is surprisingly funny and intriguing with a charismatic Alain Delon! French director René Clément's mystery thriller Joy House (1964) is quite delightful. Alain Delon is hilarious as a womanizing card shark hiding out in Lola Albright's magnificent castle alongside Jane Fonda's flirty maid. It's so fun! Writers René Clément, Pascal Jardin, and Charles Williams adapt Day Keene's neat narrative full of humor and romance. I thought this would be a darker film noir, but it's highly entertaining. Jane Fonda is so pretty and playful as the very forward maid Melinda. Her clear desire and friendly manner with Alain is quite a fun dynamic. I think Joy House can be seen as wish fulfillment, but it's a lot of fun. Alain Delon is a riot as the cautious and charming card shark on the lamb named Marc. His flirting with both actresses is such a pleasure to watch, especially opposite his nervous fears over the mob finding him. I cannot believe how amusing and handsome Alain comes across in Joy House. Lola Albright is gorgeous and powerful as the mystery mansion madame Barbara. Her demands of Marc and enigmatic performance are fascinating. Her gorgeous figure, bright smile, and piercing eyes are alluring. I found her even more beautiful and dramatic than Jane Fonda. I was seriously confused and intrigued by what was going on with her husband. Editor Fedora Zincone makes 97 minutes feel brisk with crazy cuts alongside cinematographer Henri Decaë's endlessly creative shots. These long panning shots that follow Delon around are so precise and neat. Production designer Jean André creates a luxurious mansion complete with all sorts of fancy antique statues, paintings, and furniture. It's basically a castle! Composer Lalo Schifrin's bombastic jazz score is insane and never lets up during the tense action. I liked his moodier romance themes as well. Sound designer Antoine Bonfanti makes train whistles scream like the agonized yells of the mobster's wife. The quiet and loud dynamic is really exciting. Costume designer Pierre Balmain gives Alain cool suits, a pilot's suit, shades, and a chauffeur's cap. The ladies get lovely chic dresses and fitted 60's outfits. Makeup artist Aïda Carange gives Delon and Fonda great looks. I loved hairstyling from Alex Archambault and Jacques Dessange, especially for Delon's James Dean hair. In all, Joy House is a ton of fun with charismatic performances from an all star cast. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 06/13/23 Full Review Audience Member I can tell why Delon and Fonda were the wet dreams of the previous generation but nobody ever mention Lola Albright to me. She is exquisite, she exudes an European kind of thing and yet she's totally American. A cross between Doris Day and Ava Gardner. The film is a delight. A STEAMY thriller soaking in a sticky, tingly atmosphere--Threesome, in the best possible way!! Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member jane fonda + france's james dean alain delon=good drama Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Interesting and twisted little Hitchcockian movie.... Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Typically I'm a viewer who relishes French drama/suspense & romance entries, but this one seemed more the snoozer. A Parisian tennis pro/playboy (Delon) is on the run from goons bearing a lethal message sent by the spouse of his most recent extramarital romp. His laying low in a Riviera soup kitchen leads to meeting - and holeing up in the dusty mansion of - 'les felins,' the enigmatic & lovely duo of Lola Albright and Jane Fonda. Unfortunately for Delon, the potential menage a trois soon enough starts shaping up much more like a sleepover with Norma Desmond and Norman Bates. 2.35:1, Cinemascope-equivalent. The film's best recommendation to today's viewer is historical; Fonda was only a few of years out of the acting gate and (despite her father's brand name) had only logged parts little more than eye-candy. Then she ski-daddled to Europe to snag this role, into which she could sink her teeth. Her performance stands taller than that of pretty-boy Delon and Albright, and so reveals her future promise. When Fonda's scurrying about her household chores, she strongly portends her talented delivery in "Barefoot in the Park" just three years later. Proven in this film, Fonda was back in Hollywood within the year, showcasing in/as "Cat Ballou." And with French New Wave director Roger Vadim as husband-in-tow. Mostly shot on location in Nice. The B&W widescreen camerawork & composition is strong, but it still doesn't serve to steam up the lukewarm suspense/drama under which it simmers. Having previously viewed "Pierrot Le Fou," it seems this film's imagery of mid-Century France would have been far more satisfying in color. The image quality is good, however the disc construction is below-average. RECOMMENDATION: Not a bad film but, for most viewers not Fonda fanatics, better off left dangling near the bottom of their view-queue. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Removing 1 2/2 stars for seeing it in French; only version I could find here. Otherwise, gorgeous!!! Really fun, twisted story -- nothing new or surprising, but absolutely worth seeing. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Joy House

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Movie Info

Synopsis A luckless playboy seeks shelter in a gloomy Riviera villa owned by two wealthy American women.
René Clément
Jacques Bar
Pascal Jardin, Charles Williams
Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
Canadian French
Release Date (DVD)
Aug 5, 2008
1h 38m
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