It Started In Naples (1960)

MELVILLE SHAVELSON Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  USA, 1960.  Capri Productions, Paramount Pictures.  Story by Michael Pertwee, Jack Davies, Screenplay by Melville Shavelson, Jack Rose, Suso Cecchi D’Amico.  Cinematography by Robert Surtees.  Produced by Jack Rose.  Music by Alessandro Cicognini, Carlo Savina.  Production Design by Roland Anderson, Hal Pereira.  Costume Design by Orietta Nasalli-Rocca.  Film Editing by Frank Bracht.  Academy Awards 1960.  Golden Globe Awards…

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The Black Orchid

BBBB (out of 5) Sophia Loren is in mourning after the death of her husband, working day and night to make ends while her son is upstate in a juvenile detention centre. Anthony Quinn espies this sad beauty while visiting her neighbours and immediately falls in love, begging her to go out with him and refused the pleasure until…

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Indiscretion of an American Wife (Stazione Termini) (Station Terminus)

BB.5 (out of 5) David O. Selznick teamed up with director Vittorio De Sica to produce a Hollywood movie in Rome using a story by Cesare Zavattini as its basis, and the result was a disaster. Thoroughly displeased with the process of working with de Sica and disappointed with the finished result, Selznick took the…

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Terminal Station (Station Terminus) (Stazione Termini)

BB (out of 5) Displeased with the results of his collaboration with de Sica, producer David O. Selznick would later cut this film down to 60 minutes (from the original 90) and release it in North America as Indiscretion of an American Wife. The original version is not that different or much better than the…

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Umberto D.

BBBBB (out of 5) A masterpiece! A lovable old man rents a room in a boarding house that is starting to rent by the hour, his mean landlady trying to kick him out, even raising the rent to make him unable to continue living there. The old man refuses, putting up a tough fight in…

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Miracle In Milan (Miracolo A Milano)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Corny little fantasy that must have been exactly what Italy needed while it was still rebuilding its morale following the devastation of World War II. Beginning with the words “Once Upon A Time” and divorcing itself of all realistic responsibility, the film opens with the discovery of a baby in a…

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Bicycle Thieves (The Bicycle Thief) (Ladri Di Biciclette)

BBBB (out of 5) An impoverished family in post-war Rome are saved from starvation when the father gets himself a job working as a telegraph delivery man. His wife hocks personal belongings to buy him a bicycle for his job, but their prosperity is short-lived when the vehicle is stolen by a random stranger. Powerful…

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Summertime

BBBBB (out of 5) Katharine Hepburn plays an aging spinster who arrives in Venice at the opening of this gorgeous film. While there she entertains the advances of Rossano Brazzi, a local shopkeeper who is immediately smitten with the American visitor. David Lean’s observations of the tourists surrounding Hepburn are all sharp and intelligent, while the…

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