If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium


1h 38m 1969
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

Brief Synopsis

American tourists wreak havoc while traveling through Europe.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
G
Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Apr 1969
Production Company
Wolper Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Synopsis

Under the guidance of a roguish womanizer named Charlie, a group of American tourists have assembled in London for a whirlwind 18-day bus tour of Europe. Although Charlie plans to keep his evenings free by exhausting his charges during the day, he has failed to reckon with Samantha Perkins, an indefatigable Minneapolis careerwoman who is determined to get her money's worth while trying to decide whether she should marry her conservative boyfriend George. Following a day and night in London, the travelers descend on Amsterdam, and there Edna and Fred Ferguson have trouble keeping their somewhat oversexed daughter, Shelly, away from a young hippie named Bo, and Harve Blakely loses his wife, Irma, when she climbs on the wrong bus and goes off with a group of Japanese tourists. As the sightseers are hustled through Brussels, up the Rhine by steamer, and on to Switzerland, Charlie tries to add Samantha to his list of conquests, but with little success; even when she gets drunk on spiked fondue, she remains immovable. Upon arriving in Venice, Italian-American John Marino has a disastrous encounter with his relatives and is forced to jump out of a bathroom window into a canal in order to avoid being married off to his cousin. As the tour nears its end, Charlie is at last beginning to make progress with Samantha when her boyfriend suddenly appears; but by now certain that life with George would be too dull, Samantha sends him away. Reaching their final stop at Rome, Samantha is involved in an automobile accident, and Charlie has to free her from jail. That night, the long-lost Irma, dressed in kimono and sandals, arrives at the farewell banquet and discovers her husband dancing with the entertainers; and Charlie finally succeeds in getting Samantha to make love to him. At the airport the next day when he begs her to marry him, however, she realizes that he is irresponsible. Saying "I'm a square," she bids him goodby and boards an airplane bound for the States.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
G
Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Apr 1969
Production Company
Wolper Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Articles

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium


Long-time documentarians (The Making of the President 1960, Four Days in November) David L. Wolper and Mel Stuart had their first go at narrative filmmaking with If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), a tour group comedy inspired by a 1957 New Yorker cartoon. If David Shaw's screenplay aims squarely at the lowest common denominator (grumpy husbands and frumpy wives, time-honored ethnic stereotypes and literal toilet humor), Wolper and Stuart are well-served by a lively cast of television actors (Norman Fell, Michael Constantine, Peggy Cass), the odd feature player (Murray Hamilton, between Seconds and Jaws) and a pair of well-matched leads in Suzanne Pleshette (transitioning from big screen roles to TV stardom) and Ian McShane (close to the beginning of a long and highly diverse career), all of whom give the material personality and spark. A bonus is the location cinematography of Vilis Lapenieks, which bestows upon the hoary hijinks freshness and spontaneity, but the film's trump card is the stunt casting of John Cassavetes and Ben Gazzara (taking five during production of Husbands in London and made to share the frame with Marty Ingels), Senta Berger, Virna Lisi, Elsa Martinelli, Vittorio De Sica, Anita Ekberg, and Robert Vaughn (like Gazzara, pointed towards the Wolper-produced war movie The Bridge at Remagen) in star cameos. Wolper and Stuart's next project was Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971).

By Richard Harland Smith
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

Long-time documentarians (The Making of the President 1960, Four Days in November) David L. Wolper and Mel Stuart had their first go at narrative filmmaking with If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), a tour group comedy inspired by a 1957 New Yorker cartoon. If David Shaw's screenplay aims squarely at the lowest common denominator (grumpy husbands and frumpy wives, time-honored ethnic stereotypes and literal toilet humor), Wolper and Stuart are well-served by a lively cast of television actors (Norman Fell, Michael Constantine, Peggy Cass), the odd feature player (Murray Hamilton, between Seconds and Jaws) and a pair of well-matched leads in Suzanne Pleshette (transitioning from big screen roles to TV stardom) and Ian McShane (close to the beginning of a long and highly diverse career), all of whom give the material personality and spark. A bonus is the location cinematography of Vilis Lapenieks, which bestows upon the hoary hijinks freshness and spontaneity, but the film's trump card is the stunt casting of John Cassavetes and Ben Gazzara (taking five during production of Husbands in London and made to share the frame with Marty Ingels), Senta Berger, Virna Lisi, Elsa Martinelli, Vittorio De Sica, Anita Ekberg, and Robert Vaughn (like Gazzara, pointed towards the Wolper-produced war movie The Bridge at Remagen) in star cameos. Wolper and Stuart's next project was Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, and England. Inspired by a New Yorker cartoon and a 1966 CBS-TV News Special of the same title.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 1969

Released in United States Spring April 1969