The World's Greatest Lover is a 1977 comedy film starring Gene Wilder and Carol Kane.
Set in the silent film era, Rainbow Studios figure they are losing revenue to a rival studio because they don't have Rudolph Valentino. Led by studio head Adolph Zitz, they decide to hold a contest for the World's Greatest Lover in order to find a star to combat Valentino's popularity.
Rudy Hickman is a neurotic baker, but aspires to become a Hollywood star. His entry into the contest (as Rudy Valentine) tests his marriage, and his neuroses manifest in his screen test, where he nearly kills his fellow actress. Surprisingly, this behavior scores favorably with Zitz and the studio executives reviewing his performance. He gets a slot in the final phase of the contest, just after finding his wife Annie has left him.
Critics, who compared it to Wilder's earlier works with Mel Brooks, were largely unimpressed by this film. It gained a 13% "fresh" rating on the criticism aggregation site, Rotten Tomatoes.