Ms. Merman, Winters, Berle and Terry-Thomas gathered with their director to promote the film in many different cities.
At one press junket, Berle was rubbing his head and complaining about a bump that he received while shooting a scene with Ms. Merman wherein the actress hits him with her purse. What did she have in that bag?
"Miss Merman confessed that, unbeknownst to her, the wardrobe mistress had stuffed an extra set of costume jewelry into the hand-bag that day. 'Costume jewelry,' Mr. Berle pouted, 'real jewelry I wouldn't have minded so much.'"
|Ethel Merman and the infamous purse|
"...you people insist [the English are] usually associated with this kind of a joke: One fellow says to another, 'I hear you buried your wife,' and the second chap says, 'Yes, we had to. She died, you know.' Well, it seems to me that would be just as funny anywhere."
|Terry-Thomas' face of greed|
There are more sober moments such as Winters' gratitude to Kramer for giving him his first role in a movie- a life-long dream of the comedian. Or the moment when the director is asked about a completely other film which did not do well at the box office.
"...I never blame the public if they don't come. I blame myself....[T]he public didn't fail me, I failed the public somewhere, somehow."
This is how you make a better picture the next time. If it's always the other person's fault, you're less likely to improve where you can. Great advice from a great director.
Read the rest of the press junket here: A Mad, Mad Interview, November 1963.