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In this "Romeo and Juliet" inspired Cold War satire starring, written and directed by Peter Ustinov, a tiny European country named Concordia holds the casting vote in a crucial United Nations vote. Its wily President attempts to play both ends against the middle by setting up the son of the Soviet ambassador with the daughter of the US ambassador. Written by
The original Broadway production of "Romanoff and Juliet" by Peter Ustinov opened at the Plymouth Theater in New York on October 10, 1957, ran for 389 performances and was nominated for the 1958 Tony Award for the Best Play. Peter Ustinov and Edward Atienza recreated their stage role in the movie and Ustinov was nominated for the 1958 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. See more »
I first saw this movie in a theater when I was 7. Since then I have watched all or part of the movie more than 20 times. Peter Ustinov is marvelous in this very amusing little film about life and love in a micro-nation in central Europe. Along with the tiny nation of Grand Fenwick (see The Mouse That Roared), Concordia stands as a testimate that bigger nations with more money and higher educations are not necessarily happier or more grounded in reality. Nor that they can wirld their power any more wisely.
This is, of course, a takeoff on Romeo and Juliet (by some English writer or so I hear). This time the Romeo (Romanoff) is son of the Soviet Ambassador to Concordia while Juliet is daughter of his American counterpart. Ustinov is the leader of Concordia with more than a touch of mischief and Cupid in his soul. His character is an observer of people and he knows what makes us "tick."
The scenes where he is going back and forth between the two Ambassodors, playing each against the other, is beautiful and very funny.
Notable in this is the appearance of a young Peter Jones, later to be famous as the voice of the book in Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and of John Gavin, then an actor and later an Americal Ambassador himself.
If you are looking for a grandious movie with almost-too-clever-for-its-own-good dialog and huge sets and even extras that don't look at the camera, then you will not like this one. But, if you too have a soft spot for romance, like Peter Ustinov movies (he wrote and directed as well as starred in this) and don't mind having a somewhat haunting musical melody running through you head after seeing this, then get this or tape it on one of the movie channels.
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