The Art of Love (1965 film)

The Art of Love is a 1965 technicolour comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and starring James Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Elke Sommer, and Angie Dickinson.

The Art of Love
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNorman Jewison
Produced byRoss Hunter
Written byRichard Alan Simmons (story)
William Sackheim (story)
Carl Reiner
StarringJames Garner
Dick Van Dyke
Elke Sommer
Angie Dickinson
Ethel Merman
Carl Reiner
Music byCy Coleman
CinematographyRussell Metty
Edited byMilton Carruth
Cherokee Productions
Ross Hunter Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • June 30, 1965 (1965-06-30)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,500,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

The film involves an American artist in Paris (Van Dyke) who fakes his own death in order to increase the worth of his paintings (new paintings keep "posthumously" hitting the market). His conniving pal (Garner) sells the paintings and withholds the proceeds while the artist toils in a shabby garret.

The picture was written by Richard Alan Simmons, William Sackheim, and Carl Reiner. The supporting cast features Carl Reiner and Ethel Merman.

Jewison noted in his autobiography that the film's flaw was that the script assumes that an artist's death guarantees a huge increase in the sales value of his paintings. That hurt audiences' responses to the movie enormously.

All of the paintings that were used in the movie was the artwork of international artist Don Cincone.


An aspiring artist, Paul Sloane, struggles in Paris and wants to return home to America to resume his relationship with his rich fiancee, Laurie. His best friend and roommate, Casey Barnett, tries to talk him out of it. When a beautiful woman, Nikki Donay, suddenly leaps into the river Seine to escape a man's attentions, Paul jumps in to save her. They make it to a barge, but Casey and everyone else is under the mistaken impression that neither survived. Casey gets an idea—a dead artist's paintings could now be very valuable, particularly considering the publicity given Paul's heroic attempt to save the damsel in distress. He begins selling Paul's work, but when the artist himself reappears, very much alive, they hatch a scheme. Paul will pretend to still be dead while continuing to produce paintings for Casey to sell. Matters become further complicated when Laurie comes to Paris. Casey falls in love with her. This infuriates his best friend, resulting in Paul seeking revenge by slipping evidence to the police that Casey actually murdered him to profit from the art. Casey is tried, convicted and sentenced to death, by guillotine. Paul attempts to save Casey at the last minute.



  1. This figure consists of anticipated rentals accruing distributors in North America. See "Big Rental Pictures of 1965", Variety, 5 January 1966 p 6
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