The Secret Of Santa Vittoria


(out of 5)

The Italian hamlet of Santa Vittoria decides, in the early forties, to oust their current leadership in favour of placing a drunken lout of a wine merchant () as mayor. He takes the job with fervor but it does nothing to improve his standing with his nagging wife () to whom he will always be a loser. History intervenes in this heretofore ignored village when Nazi soldiers descend upon the population and demand that its inhabitants give up their “secret”: the location of vast stores of wine that Santa Vittoria is famous for producing. This Stanley Kramer film, based on the novel by Robert Crichton, is overproduced in a self-important manner that kills the light comedy with which it means to deliver its sobering historical situation. Having actual Italian actors playing Italians in an Italian setting but with English dialogue spoken in ridiculous linguini accents makes it practically impossible to watch: Magnani comes off more like she’s performing in an SCTV skit than in a genuine film, particularly since the role riffs off of the kind of loud-mouthed firebomb that she was so well known for playing at that point.

Stanley Kramer Productions

USA, 1969

Directed by

Screenplay by , , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by Stanley Kramer

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by ,

Academy Award Nominations
Best Film Editing (William Lyon, Earle Herdan)
Best Music (Original Score–for a motion picture [not a musical]) (Ernest Gold)

Golden Globe Award
Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical

Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Anna Magnani)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Anthony Quinn)
Best Director (Stanley Kramer)
Best Original Song-Motion Picture (“Stay”, music by Ernest Gold, lyrics by Norman Gimbel)
Best Original Score-Motion Picture (Ernest Gold)


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