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.
Monday, 26 September 2016
Take 3 girls - Italian style
Here's an oddity: despite my affection for British and Italian cinema I had never heard of SOUVENIR D'ITALIE (or IT HAPPENED IN ROME) a 1957 confection about 3 girls travelling in Italy - its sort of a romantic comedy with lots of scenery, a fascinating view now. But why it is so unknown, ok its just a bit of fluff, but maybe it never even played here - I checked my 1957 "Films and Filming" magazines and there is no review or ads for it (ditto another '57 one filmed in Italy: Diana Dors and Vittorio Gassman in THE GIRL AT THE PALIO set at the famous Palio race in Sienna).
This one - SOUVENIR D'ITALIE - features prim English girl June Laverick (she wears spectacles!) driving her snazzy sportscar and giving a lift to hitchers Isabelle Corey (the headstrong one) and German Ingeborg Schoner (the sensible one). The car zooms zooms over the cliff into the sea at Portofino, so the gals have to hitch. We see them in Florence,Venice and Pisa before they head to Rome, so yes lots of Italy as it was 50+ years ago.
An amusing sequence sees British grand dame Isabel Jeans (in a dry run for her role in GIGI) posing by that statue of David, with Alberto Sordi as her companion. He soon joins the girls through. Other men are Gabrielle Ferzetti and Massimo Girotti and Vittorio De Sica - for it is he - as a Count who offers the girls some hospitality in Venice. The men of course are dubbed but it does not matter in a slight trifle like this. I liked it a lot, directed by Antonio Pietrangeli. The girls of course all end up with their particular guy.
June Laverick was a British starlet of the era, who did a few trifles (THE DUKE WORE JEANS with Tommy Steele, a Norman Wisdom film, and a good role in Losey's THE GYPSY AND THE GENTLEMAN in 1958, last credit in 1970).