Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. United Kingdom/USA/Italy, 1953. Romulus Films, Dear Film, Santana Pictures Corporation, Rizzoli-Haggiag. Screenplay by Truman Capote, John Huston, based on the novel by Claud Cockburn. Cinematography by Oswald Morris. Produced by John Huston. Music by Franco Mannino. Production Design by Wilfred Shingleton. Film Editing by Ralph Kemplen.
This exotic adventure stars Humphrey Bogart and is directed by John Huston, both of them engaging in a subtle comic version of the kinds of adventure stories they were doing seriously ten years earlier. Bogart plays a junior goon to three Englishmen planning on going to Africa in order to swindle the government out of plots of land that contain vast quantities of uranium. While cooling their heels in Italy, waiting for a ship that will take them to the continent, Bogart meets an overly chatty traveler (Jennifer Jones, who was never more delightful) and her seemingly genteel husband. Bogart and Jones fall in love, though their affair is complicated by the existence of Bogart’s beautiful wife (Gina Lollobrigida). All the performances are excellent and all the situations are hilariously wry; this film feels like a breeze and goes down ever so smoothly.