Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Dolls and Fates

Following on from Gina in KING QUEEN KNAVE and Jean Sorel in CHAIR DE POULE here they are in the 1965 Italian sex comedy LE BAMBOLE (THE DOLLS), below: Sorel with Raquel Welch in the '66 LE FATE (THE QUEENS or SEX QUARTET) and Monica Vitti from the same film...

I have written about these Italian compendiums, popular in the '60s - Antonioni contributed to one too, with Princess Soraya, but it hardly saw the light of day - as per Vitti, Sorel labels. LE BAMBOLE (aka FOUR KINDS OF LOVE) is probably the best featuring 4 tales of which the best is the torrid Gina Lollobrigida as the hotel owner's wife trying to seduce the secretary (Sorel) of visiting cardinal Akim Tamiroff - it is played for laughs and was rather a sensation in Italy at the time. Monica Vitti is also hilarious playing aganst type as the working class woman trying to get her slob of a husband killed off. Elke Sommer and Virna Lisi are in the other two, less amusing segments.

LE FATE (SEX QUARTET) the following year and in colour feature Vitti and Sorel again - he in a rather silly tale with the young Raquel Welch, while Vitti dazzles in that dress as the hitch-hiker driving men wild, as she moves from one to the other. Seeing the arthouse muse (the same year as her MODESTY BLAISE for Losey) being so deadpan silly and looking terrific, remains a treat, as ever. Two other favourites, Claudia Cardinale and Capucine (with the dreaded Alberto Sordi) star in the other two tales. Fun seeing them again.

The Italians must have liked these compendiums: back in '54 we had GOLD OF NAPLES, another 4 stories featuring the young Loren, Silvana Mangano, De Sica and Toto; and then BOCCACCIO 70 in '62 which was 3 segments - Fellini's with Anita Ekberg, Loren with De Sica and Romy Schneider in the Visconti tale - there was a 4th by Monicelli but it had no big stars and was taken out, but is now available on the dvd and its an amusing tale with that perfectly 1962 look - Marisa Solinas and Germano Giglioli (below).

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