The Love Machine


1h 46m 1971

Brief Synopsis

John Phillip Law, Dyan Cannon, Robert Ryan, Jackie Cooper, David Hemmings, Maureen Arthur, Shecky Greene, Jodi Wexler. Based on the best-selling pulp novel by Jacqueline Susann, this behind-the-scenes expose of a national television network follows the career of a ruthless executive who sleeps his way to the top. The music score includes two songs by Dionne Warwick - "He's Moving On" & "Amanda's Theme".

Film Details

Also Known As
Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Aug 1971
Premiere Information
New York opening: 5 Aug 1971; Los Angeles opening: 12 Aug 1971
Production Company
Frankovich Productions, Inc.; SuJac Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Beverly Hills--Police Department, California, United States; Los Angeles, California, United States; Los Angeles--Bel Air Hotel, California, United States; Los Angeles--Hotel Bel-Air, California, United States; Los Angeles--Station KTTV, California, United States; New York City, New York, United States; New York City--Danny's Hideaway, New York, United States; New York City--East River Docks, New York, United States; New York City--Sutton Place, New York, United States; New York City--United Nations Building, New York, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Love Machine by Jacqueline Susann (New York, 1969).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Synopsis

Robin Stone, a handsome, ambitious newscaster for a local New York television station, attracts the attention of Judith Austin, the wife of Gregory Austin, the head of the IBC network. Also entralled by Robin is Amanda, a model who believes she is in love with him. The network has been lagging behind in ratings, and consequently, urged on by Judith, Greg decides to hire Robin as IBC's new anchorman. Although Danton Miller, the head of programming, opposes Greg's decision, Dan lacks the power to countermand his boss. Proud of Robin's promotion, Amanda gives him an ankh ring as a symbol that she will love him forever, but Robin replies that nothing is forever. Amanda's intimate evening with Robin is interrupted by the arrival of Jerry Nelson, a homosexual fashion photographer who is a close friend of Robin. The next day, Judith meets Robin in her husband's office and begins to flirt with him. That night, after Robin has sex with Tina St. Claire, another one of his conquests, he discovers that the baby sparrow he rescued from his terrace has died and wraps its body in a napkin, along with Amanda's ankh ring. When Robin insists on expanding his newscast from fifteen to thirty minutes and scheduling it in prime time, Dan objects that sponsors will not invest their money in the news, but prodded by Judith, Greg argues that the network needs prestige more than sponsors. Angry that Robin is challenging his power, Dan decides to build a variety show around second-rate comedian Christie Lane to prove that audiences want crass entertainment, not enlightenment. Christie is a hit, and Jerry arranges for the show's sponsor, a perfume company, to hire Amanda to appear on the show as the embodiment of their product. After her perfume spot appears, Amanda spurns the celebratory party thrown by the network to visit Robin, who has been ignoring her. When she insists that he attend the party with her, he invites her to come inside, causing her to see Tina, who is still nude, after having had sex with Robin. Shattered, Amanda goes to the party and soon after, Robin comes in with Tina and cruelly flirts with Amanda. Christie, smitten with Amanda's beauty, tries to woo her, and when Amanda gets drunk and agrees to go home with him, he proposes to her. After flying to Hollywood to interview actor Alfie Knight, Robin returns to New York and squabbles with Dan over who is in charge. Afterward, Judith wheedles a lunch date with Robin, which they spend in Robin's bed. When Judith aggressively demands a key to Robin's apartment, however, he demurs. While Robin and Judith are enjoying their romantic interlude, Greg suffers a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital. Because Greg is incapacitated, Judith assumes his power of attorney and appoints Robin to act as head of the network while she takes her husband to Switzerland to recuperate. Still desperate to see Robin, Amanda comes to his office, where he declares he never wants to see her again. Hysterical, Amanda rushes into Robin's anteroom, where Christie is waiting for his meeting with Robin. When Christie approaches Amanda, she rebuffs him, humiliating Christie, who decides to fire her from his show. Christie then summons Ethel Evans, who works in network publicity, to disassociate his name from Amanda's. Ethel, who uses sex to get what she wants, recognizes a golden opportunity in Amanda's rejection of Christie and offers to be his "girl." Later, Jerry comes to Amanda's apartment and discovers she has committed suicide. Beside her body, Jerry finds a tape recording of Amanda pleading with Robin for one more chance, which he then pockets to save Robin's reputation. While watching the newscast that night, Robin is shaken to learn of Amanda's death and takes a long walk, during which he is propositioned by a prostitute. After following the woman to her room, Robin changes his mind, and when the woman calls him a "closet queen," he beats her up and leaves. Robin then notifies Jerry, who anonymously calls an ambulance for the battered woman and invites Robin to his apartment, where he conceals Robin's bruised hands with makeup and agrees to lie that Robin spent the night there. In return, Jerry asks for a gold "slave bracelet" engraved with Robin's name. Some time later, Dan, who has quit the network, offers Jerry $10,000 a week and paid trips to California to become his "silent partner" in a television show that he wants Jerry to sell to Robin. Upon returning to New York with the recovered Greg, Judith is disappointed that Robin has not come to welcome her back and insists that they resume their affair. When he stands her up and avoids her phone calls, she sneaks into his apartment. Seeing Robin cavorting in the shower with nude twins, Judith piles their clothes onto the bed and sets them on fire. That night's news features a prominent story of the embarrassed Robin and the twins, dressed only in raincoats, being interviewed about the fire. Upset, Judith runs back to her apartment where she manipulates her husband into resuming control of the network and demoting Robin. When Greg announces that he is taking over IBC, Robin threatens to quit, a move that would result in pitting Greg against the network's shareholders. When Cliff Dorne, Greg's attorney, suggests using a morals clause against Robin, who has been dubbed "The Love Machine" by the press because of his sexual exploits, Greg agrees to hire a detective to follow Robin and see if there is any truth to the rumor that Robin and Jerry are lovers. Meanwhile, Jerry convinces Robin to accept an invitation to a party that Alfie, now Jerry's boyfriend, is giving in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, Robin runs into Judith at the Hotel Bel-Air and invites her to the party. Upon arriving at Alfie's house, Robin is pleased to see aspiring actress Maggie Stewart there, but Maggie rebuffs his advances. Judith becomes annoyed when Robin ignores her to spend time with Alfie and Jerry. Once all the guests have gone, Judith finds Jerry's slave bracelet on the floor and taunts Robin with it, calling him a "faggot". When Judith threatens to expose Robin and stuffs the bracelet into her bra, Jerry and Alfie wrestle her to retrieve it, but she hits Jerry on the head with Alfie's Oscar statuette. Her screams attract a passing police car, and as the police pound on the door, Robin rips the bracelet from Judith's bra. Upon opening the door, Robin lies to the officers that he got drunk and made a pass a Judith, and when Jerry and Alfie tried to intervene, a fight ensued. The police take them to the police station, and as Robin tries to leave the station, his reputation besmirched by the scandal, he is badgered by reporters. When Maggie pulls up in her car and asks if he needs a "lift," he replies "Not yet."

Cast

John Phillip Law

Robin Stone

Dyan Cannon

Judith Austin

Robert Ryan

Gregory Austin

Jackie Cooper

Danton Miller

David Hemmings

Jerry Nelson

Jodi Wexler

Amanda

William Roerick

Cliff Dorne

Maureen Arthur

Ethel Evans

Shecky Greene

Christie Lane

Clinton Greyn

Alfie Knight

Sharon Farrell

Maggie Stewart

Alexandra Hay

Tina St. Claire

Eve Bruce

Amazon woman

Greg Mullavey

Bob Summers

Gene Baylos

Eddie Flynn

Ben Lessy

Kenny Ditto

Edith Atwater

Mary

Elizabeth St. Clair

Susie

Claudia Jennings

Darlene

Mary Collinson

Debbie

Madeleine Collinson

Sandy

Jerry Dunphy

Newscaster

Ted Meyers

Newscaster

Jacqueline Susann

Newscaster

Gayle Hunnicutt

Astrological girl at party

Willie Davis

Police officer

Dick Winslow

Producer

Lance Fuller

Producer

Stan Harris

TV director

Christopher Michaels

Bunny

Ike Williams

Escort

Ann Lynn

Model

Emilie Mitchell

Model

Beverly Gill

Model

Lee Brubaker

Model

Jane Axell

Model

Marianne Gordon

Model

Leigh Christian

Model

Liv Von Linden

Model

Virginia Ann Ford

Model

Sugar Ray Robinson

Guest

Evelyn Beebe

Wardrobe woman

Betty Van Valkenburgh

Wardrobe woman

Bob Stiles

TV floorman

Ralph Manza

Bartender

Don Rickles

Announcer

Lloyd Battista

Andy Parino

Michael St. Angel

Agency man

Fleurette Carter

Helen

Sandra Balson

Secretary

Paula Mitchell

Secretary

Monica Peterson

Secretary

George A. Lamprey

TV technician

Dick H. Jacobsen

TV technician

Robert A. Bowen

TV technician

Wilfred D. Langley

TV technician

Leonard D. Uslander

TV technician

Walter F. Haddock

TV technician

Marco E. Peterson

TV technician

Patrick Henry Kehoe

TV technician

Peter Mcguire

TV technician

Thomas R. Bond

TV technician

Barry Kirstein

TV technician

Nicky Blair

Club owner

Paul Marin

Dr. Lesgarn

Duke Hobbie

Detective

Tom Stewart

Detective

Jake Jacobs

Reporter

Lincoln Demyan

Reporter

Larry Mccormick

Reporter

Robert Patten

Reporter

John Carter

Reporter

James Lloyd

Manny

Mauritz E. Hugo

Dr. Spineck

Mark Thomas

Doorman

Michael Lorenz

Parking lot attendant

Bruno Meglio

Waiter

Cheryl Christiansen

Anabel Garth

Royce Milne

Bill Mckeever

Barry Woodruff

Hy Chase

Jayne Breckenridge

Jack Tesler

Frank Matthias

Film Details

Also Known As
Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Aug 1971
Premiere Information
New York opening: 5 Aug 1971; Los Angeles opening: 12 Aug 1971
Production Company
Frankovich Productions, Inc.; SuJac Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Beverly Hills--Police Department, California, United States; Los Angeles, California, United States; Los Angeles--Bel Air Hotel, California, United States; Los Angeles--Hotel Bel-Air, California, United States; Los Angeles--Station KTTV, California, United States; New York City, New York, United States; New York City--Danny's Hideaway, New York, United States; New York City--East River Docks, New York, United States; New York City--Sutton Place, New York, United States; New York City--United Nations Building, New York, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Love Machine by Jacqueline Susann (New York, 1969).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's title card reads "Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine." According to a June 1969 news item in Publishers Weekly, producer M. J. "Mike" Frankovich bought the rights to Susann's book for a base payment of $1,500,000 against 10% of the film's gross, a record at the time. A May 1969 Hollywood Reporter news item added that as part of the deal, Susann's husband, Irving Mansfield, was given the title of executive producer. SuJac Productions was owned by Susann and Mansfield.
       According to Filmfacts, Brian Kelly was originally cast as "Robin Stone," but was replaced by John Phillip Law after Kelly was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. According to a July 1970 news item in Beverly Hills Citizen News, the following actors were considered for the role of Stone: Robert Wagner, Rick Jason, Robert Fuller, Robert Brown, Eric Braeden, Stephen Boyd and Warren Beatty. Filmfacts also noted that many of the scenes featuring Sharon Farrell as "Maggie Stewart" were cut from the released film.
       Publicity materials in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library noted that location filming in California was shot at the Beverly Hills Police Department, the Hotel Bel-Air and television station KTTV in Los Angeles. New York City location filming was done at the East River Docks, Sutton Place, Danny's Hideaway and at the United Nations Building. Although the onscreen credits read "introducing Jodi Wexler," The Love Machine was Wexler's only film.
       August 1971 Hollywood Reporter items noted that the Writers Guild sought and won an injunction against Columbia Pictures barring any advertising in which screenwriter Samuel Taylor was not given proper credit. Modern sources add Melonie Haller and Linda Morand to the cast. Several well-known celebrities appeared in cameos in the film, among them boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, comedian Don Rickles and local Los Angeles newscaster Jerry Dunphy.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1971

Released in United States 1971