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.

Friday, 7 October 2011

4 girls in town

FOUR GIRLS IN TOWN. I had totally forgotten this 1957 Universal-International item though I know I saw it at the time, it is perhaps, like AWAY ALL BOATS, the quintessential U-I flick. We have 4 girls arriving in Hollywood, all up for an important part in a new biblical epic.

They are: Julie Adams [with her fearsome mother Mabel Albertson], Italian go-getter Elsa Martinelli, from France Gia Scala [who has a secret husband and child] and from Austria Marianne Cook (or Koch – she was the mentally ill wife in Sirk’s INTERLUDE) who is recovering from losing her beloved in a car accident]. There is also one Rita Holloway, the studio's main star who is only ever seen from the rear and looks uncannily like Jayne Mansfield in THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT as she sways around the studio lot.

The girls are nicely depicted and the guys they meet include director George Nader (ideal for Julie), actor-on-the-make John Gavin, playboy Grant Williams [that INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN] and composer Sydney Chaplin. The very attractive Gia (who got the GUNS OF NAVARONE gig but later commited suicide) has the least role here. Julie is as attractive as ever and Elsa (right) is the most eye-catching, she really is the most under-rated of the Italian sirens.

It plays out nicely with a surprise ending and is SO ‘50s! The girls are not complete of course until they each have a new man, and the scene where they gleefully catch fish coming ashore to lay their eggs would horrify today's sensibilities. Written and directed by one Jack Sher.

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