Be a crime to miss this Diamond of a 1980s TV Movie Pairing…
A Glittering Telly chemistry with Joan Collins and David Hasselhoff.
CARTIER AFFAIR (1984) | Official Trailer, Multicom Entertainment and photos © NBC
One of the many things I love about Darlin’ Husband is that he likes 1980s TV
guilty pleasure Movies too. So he struck TV Movie Gold after spotting The Cartier Affair (1984) on a certain movie streaming service. This crime romantic comedy from the 1980s was nestled in a bunch of What The F*** with Who The F*** movies. Which judging from the cast was plainly wrong, with then 1980s rating winners, David Hasselhoff and Joan Collins heading the bill…
Both these 1980s big names were on a wee break from their respective roles, a Knight Rider (1982-86) part for him and Dynasty (1981-89) role for her. Sadly, with blink and miss, it moments from Telly Savalas. Also spotted in the film, a bunch of recognisable faces that you’d only recall their names and career after checking them out on IMDb including Charles Napier and Ed Lauter.
The Cartier Affair tells of con man Curtis Taylor (David Hasselhoff) who is in jail with a bunch of 80s extras who look like they’ve been incarcerated for their haircuts alone. With the Hoff kinda sporting that same haircut, I’ve known for years. All the prisoners are fans of glamorous star Cartier Rand (Joan Collins) watching and enjoying her appearances on the telly.
So with Taylor owing fellow inmate Phil Drexler (Savalas) a small fortune for protection while behind bars, Taylor is released with a huge debt to pay. Despite this, on his release, Taylor rents a modest – read expensive – apartment in Hollywood. The monthly rent of which looks like it might have paid off all his debts and more, so he tries to find work. He has an irritatingly voiced, dumb blonde girlfriend Shirl (Randi Brooks).
So meeting with two of Drexler’s associates on the outside, Taylor meets Lyndon (Lauter) and his accomplice. The pair want to set him up with a job as Cartier’s secretary. His mission is to steal her jewellery and this act will settle his debts with Drexler. But Cartier only wants a woman for the job.
Cartier and her oft jealous fiance are then reassured by Lyndon that Taylor is the man for the job. And he’s a homosexual. Which Taylor isn’t. Of course, the leading pair of stars, Cartier and Taylor inevitably fall for each other, but the heavies want him to steal her jewels.. and of course, it all goes full-tilt farcical romp with the romance of all kinds thrown in.
David Hasselhoff plays a fun leading man and it is nice to see him in an intentional comedy, after seeing him last when reviewing the somewhat silly (but fun) Star Wars inspired Starcrash (1978) last year. He played his part sweetly and earnestly, making his character seem much more understanding and likeable than other movie con men. This was particularly seen when he falls for Ms Collins’ character and his character is visibly torn up by his situation.
Joan Collins is wonderfully fun too almost sending up her Dynasty character from with Cartier’s latest starring role a woman who beds a shed load of toyboys. With comic lines, I’m sure Ms Collins must have thought at least once, in her soap opera role. Collins gave an honest, refreshing performance and I’m certainly going to hunt down more of her comic roles after seeing this.
This I’m used to seeing her in other genres be it dramatic such as her 80s mini-series such as Sins (1986) and the aforementioned soap. Or in horror movies such as Tales from the Crypt (1972) or Empire of the Ants (1977). However the Hoff and Ms Collins convince us as a couple, and both show great comic rapport, chemistry and support with each other in their scenes together.
As for the others in the cast. Randi Brooks is wonderful as Taylor’s girlfriend, and you may have recognised her played a similar brainless role in The Man with Two Brains (1983). Telly Savalas is used well but sadly not enough, as he almost swans in for his role from another set. It was good to see more of Lauter who I’d only known in his fatherly role in Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985). In fact, it was fun recognising more and more of the supporting cast, however now Darlin Husband does take the mickey out of me by pondering if he’d seen them in Dallas…
So like another film I reviewed recently it seems there is quite a wee age gap between the leads. And like Teacher’s Pet (1958) which had the always dashing but older Clark Gable with Doris Day as his younger love interest. This has an 80s reversal, Joan Collins, as an older love interest to Hasselhoff’s toyboy.
But like the silver highlighted fox Gable, she’s more MILF than WTF. Unlike some of the other actresses whose characters try to hit on him. But as Darlin Husband says he is the Hoff. And even my sister on meeting him, was more than a wee bit starstruck and that wasn’t that long ago, but with a similarish age difference (with her the youngest).
And to the Hoff’s credit, he doesn’t do the full tilt 1980 homosexual stereotype which was personified by many characters such as the overly camp Hollywood in 1987’s Mannequin. Although a few stereotypical comments are made by Taylor to convince Cartier and her fiance he’s a homosexual. This along with scenes with much older women including actress Louisa Moritz as one of many older women in the cast trying to bed Taylor. Moritz was last seen in a role 10 years previously in One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest (1975) as one of the girls that Nicholson’s McMurphy invites to the hospital for the patient’s party.
However, with this character pretending to be a homosexual then falling for the girl was a similar plot to another complicated film romance. Here an actor dressing as a woman to get a job, then fell for his co-star who believed he was a woman. In that role with Dustin Hoffman. Sadly this wasn’t the same twist with Hasselhoff’s character in a TV Movie version of Tootsie. But then at 6ft 3, David Hasselhoff in heels would definitely make for a more statuesque lady than the diminutive Hoffman. So it’s easy to see which character the Hoff would pull off to be Collins’ (Michael) Knight in shining armour.
This film was added to Maddie loves her Classic Films’ Small Screen blogathon. Other reviews with this cast include Joan Collins in Leading Ladies and their Toyboys Post, The Time of their Lives and Dynasty. David Hasselhoff stars in The Asylum Mockbuster Movies, 80s Hollywood Hitmakers, Knight Rider and Starcrash. Telly Savalas stars in 1970s Kellys Heroes. Many of the cast star in The Love Boat. Ed Lauter starred in Family Plot and Magic.