An enormous box office hit, and Oscar-nominated for Best Film, this romantic comedy, filmed in Rome and Venice (Milton Krasner won an Academy Award for his luminous colour photography) is mostly remembered for its Oscar-winning title song. But Victor Young’s high-spirited and joyous score that blended in with the Italian locale and the story is very7 attractive. Because this score, for some copyright difficulty, or so I understand, cannot be made available on CD, I have chosen to draw your attention to this DVD from the collection of 20th Century Fox classics now currently being released at often bargain prices on DVD. (Another Fox release, Peyton Place, with a significant score by Franz Waxman is also reviewed on Film Music on the Web this month).
The film’s story line is rather silly. It concerns the romances of three American secretaries working in Rome. The romance between the Rossano Brazzi character (with Brazzi hopelessly miscast and looking miserably uncomfortable all the time and a wasted Jean Peters) is not worth your time, the slightly scatter-brained Maggie McNamara pursuit of Louis Jordan’s Prince has its moments but it is left to the grace of Dorothy McGuire and the wonderfully sarcastic aphorisms of Clifton Web as the imperious novelist to save the films. Who could forget such wonderful lines as this:-
[At a cocktail party] Lady guest to Webb. “My husband says that one has only to follow me around with a pencil to get plenty of material for a novel.” Web in reply: “My dear lady, I would love to get behind you with a pencil.”
A memorable title song and a charming score by Victor Young – both together only available on DVD.