Champagne for Caesar is a fun, lesser-known film, in which neither champagne nor Caesar plays a critical role in the story. The latter is actually a parrot with some bad habits taught to him by college students. The former is one of the preferred habits of said bird.
The movie focuses on Beauregard Bottomley, a genius who has trouble finding work and shares a small bungalow with his sister Gwenn and the parrot. Beauregard is delightfully played by the versatile, silver-tongued Ronald Colman. The siblings observe a TV show aired on a small television in a store window around which a number of other people have gathered. The program is called “Masquerade for Money” where contestants dress up as a character about whom the host, Happy Hogan, then asks questions.
The story line is often predictable, but it is quite fun to see everything play out because of the talented, eclectic, and capable cast.
Flame O’Neill is expertly performed by Celeste Holm, who offers a wicked little giggle when her ill charge is trying to sleep. She is the perfect temptation for Beauregard, but he does eventually cause her to have “Bottomley” trouble.
Art Linkletter, who died this May at the age of 97, was quite good as the host of “Masquerade for Money” Happy Hogan.
The role of Frosty, the shapely neighbor who is ogled by all the men except Beauregard, was convincingly acted by Ellye Marshall, whose resume only includes five films.
Mel Blanc lent his remarkable voice to Caesar, the parrot.
Director Richard Whorf had a very successful career directing on TV including several episodes of Have Gun - Will Travel, Gunsmoke, My Three Sons, and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Champage for Caesar is available on DVD. Let the bubbles begin!