COME FLY WITH ME is great fun, starting from the very first widescreen shots of the drive to a New York airport while Frankie Avalon sings the classic Cahn-Van Heusen title tune. This lighthearted tale of three stewardesses looking for love, set against the backdrop of Paris and Vienna, is charming '60s escapist fare; it doesn't pretend to be great art, but it's highly diverting.
Carol (Pamela Tiffin) is a ditzy but beautiful sweetheart whose highminded morals may just shock ladies' man copilot Ray (Hugh O'Brian) into settling down and becoming a one-woman man. "Bergie" (Lois Nettleton) is the nice, quiet girl in the trio who starts out dateless but hits the jackpot with a widowed multimillionaire (Karl Malden) traveling in tourist class. And Donna (Dolores Hart) has a rocky road ahead when she falls in love with an aristocratic jewel smuggler (Karl Boehm).
I particularly liked the plotlines focusing on Carol and Bergie. Tiffin (from 1961's ONE, TWO, THREE) has a real flair for comedy and she and O'Brian provide much of the film's humor, while Nettleton and Malden are touching as two lonely people who meet at just the right time. Malden also has a hilarious airport scene near the end of the film. Whenever any of these four actors are on the screen, the movie fires on all cylinders.
This was the last film made by Dolores Hart, who left Hollywood to become a nun. Hart is lovely and gives a good performance, but she and Boehm are the film's least sympathetic characters and had a somewhat tiresome storyline. I suppose they wanted one girl to suffer some heartbreak for contrast, but it wasn't nearly as much fun as the other stories.
A fourth stewardess, glimpsed only briefly, is played by Lois Maxwell, better known as "Moneypenny." Dawn Addams plays O'Brian's old flame.
Part of the film's enjoyment comes from its "vintage airline" look -- you have to love the stewardesses with their proper hats and gloves, or their matching scarves when the weather is bad. Those were the days of glamorous flying! The movie is also a great travelogue of Vienna and especially Paris.
COME FLY WITH ME runs 109 minutes. It was directed by Henry Levin. Levin's credits include THE MATING OF MILLIE (1948), BELLES ON THEIR TOES (1952), THE PRESIDENT'S LADY (1953), and IF A MAN ANSWERS (1962).
This movie is not available on DVD or video. It has been shown on Turner Classic Movies, which has the trailer available here.
June 2015 Update: COME FLY WITH ME is now available on DVD from the Warner Archive.