During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Baltimore industrialist Wendell Armbruster crosses paths with London shop girl Pamela Piggott when they come to Ischia to pick up the bodies of her mother and his father, who have been killed in an automobile accident after a ten-year summertime affair. Straitlaced Wendell tries to avoid a scandal while free-spirited Pamela is impressed by the romantic setting. After some confusion with the bodies and a blackmail attempt by unscrupulous locals, Wendell and Pamela extend their parent's affair into the next generation. Written by
Billy Wilder cast several non-professionals in supporting roles. Guidarino Guidi was a Rome actor's agent who called Wilder about getting jobs on the film for various clients and was instead cast as the maitre d' of the Excelsior Hotel; Raffaele Mottola was hired as the film's dialogue coach and then persuaded to play the passport official at the start of the film; and the elderly Armando Giovagnoli, playing the nonagenarian Baron, was Wilder's chauffeur on the film. The famous make-up man Harry Ray, who worked on a number of Wilder films (and was, for a time, Jack Lemmon's personal make-up man), was cast as Dr. Fleischman, the dentist on Wendell's plane - perhaps because of his close resemblance to Billy Wilder. See more »
At the end of the movie, after the helicopter takes off, Pamela and Mr. Carlucci are shown walking and their shadows are on their right side and barely as long as they are tall, as if the sun is nearly overhead. The next shot is from the helicopter looking down at them and their shadows are behind them and at least 20 feet long, as if the sun is low in the horizon. See more »
This charming and whimsical flick has been a favorite of mine for years, and I am puzzled as to why it so neglected. There are five main reasons the film works so well, not necessarily in order of importance: 1) the cinematography of the isle of Ischia 2) Billy Wilder's direction 3) Jack Lemmon 4) Wilder's and Diamond's script 5) Clive Revill as the hotel manager. Little can be added to the generally favorable comments found here. My favorite scene: Wendell Armbruster's introduction to the Trotta family ("That's a lotta Trottas!"). Well worth a see!
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