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The Black Orchid (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 19 February 1959 (Italy)
Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren star as longtime widower Frank and recently widowed Rose, lonely hearts who discover something special in The Black Orchid, a sensitive comedy romance directed by Martin Ritt (Norma Rae, Murphy's Romance).


Martin Ritt


Joseph Stefano
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Sophia Loren ... Rose Bianco
Anthony Quinn ... Frank Valente
Peter Mark Richman ... Noble (as Mark Richman)
Virginia Vincent ... Alma Gallo
Frank Puglia ... Henry Gallo
Jimmy Baird Jimmy Baird ... Ralph Bianco
Naomi Stevens ... Guilia Gallo
Whit Bissell ... Mr. Harmon
Robert Carricart ... Priest
Joe Di Reda ... Joe
Jack Washburn Jack Washburn ... Tony Bianco
Ina Balin ... Mary Valente


After mobsters murder her husband, Rose Bianco works long hours making artificial flowers, to support herself and her son. Some suspect that Rose's demand for a lavish lifestyle pushed her husband to a life of crime, and they blame her for his death. Widower Frank Valente is attracted to Rose, and must convince her that real love exists. He must also deal with his own daughter, who has her own reasons for opposing his marriage to Rose. Written by Molly Malloy <mailcall@intersource.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


More than a story of love... a story of life!


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The work farm Sophia Loren visits every weekend by bus is the Berkshire Farm for Boys in Canaan, New York, about 50 miles north of New York City. See more »


Frank Valente: Working at night? Even God doesn't work at night.
Rose Bianco: To make a living people do many things God doesn't do.
See more »


Featured in Biography: Sophia Loren: Actress Italian Style (1997) See more »

User Reviews

Bland melodrama.
7 August 2002 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Martin Ritt has always been a director concerned by social problems:racism,illiteracy,the lot of workers and trade unionism,juvenile delinquency.And some of his works are commendable:"Stanley and Iris","Norma Rae" "edge of the city" to name but three.

This is the latter subject we find here:Ralphie ,whose late father was a gangster has been sent to a reform school.His mother (Loren) wants to marry an honest man (Quinn).But they've got to reckon with the guy's offspring who's not prepared to accept that.We deal with a "serious" sitcom which drowns out Ralphie's character.Sophia Loren 's portrayal is minimal,and Quinn cannot make up for it.The supporting cast,particularly Quinn's daughter,her fiancé and her confidant,has no presence at all.

Get Douglas Sirk's "imitation of life" instead if you think melodrama can be great art!

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Release Date:

19 February 1959 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Orchid See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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