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The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • Anthology movie about three owners of a yellow Rolls-Royce. A British diplomat buys the car for his French wife. A mobster's girlfriend has an affair in Italy. An American woman drives a Yugoslavian partisan to Ljubljana on the eve of the Nazi invasion.

  • Three stories about the lives and loves of those who own a certain yellow Rolls-Royce: **First purchased by Lord Charles Frinton, the Marquess of Frinton (Sir Rex Harrison) for his wife as a belated anniversary present. Lady Eloise Frinton, the Marchioness of Frinton (Jeanne Moreau) finds her own use for the vehicle, one which prompts her husband to sell the car in disgust. **Gangster Paolo Maltese's (George C. Scott's) moll Mae Jenkins (Shirley MacLaine) thinks the Rolls is a "classy" car in which to tour Paolo's hometown in Italy. When Paolo is called away to the U.S. to finish some "business", a bored Mae takes the Rolls-Royce on a spin through the country, enjoying both the sights and handsome Italian photographer Stefano (Alain Delon), who crosses her path. **By the outbreak of World War II, the car has come into the possession of socialite Gerda Millett (Ingrid Bergman). While on her way to visit Yugoslavian royalty, Gerda and the Rolls-Royce become (at first) unwitting and then (eventually) most willing participants in the Yugoslavian fight.

  • Three stories of love-hurt linked only by a yellow Rolls-Royce. Lord Charles Frinton, The Marquess of Frinton (Sir Rex Harrison), an aristocrat and diplomatic official of the British Foreign and Colonial Office in the days of the British Empire, buys a brand-new yellow Phantom model as a belated anniversary gift for his wife Lady Eloise Frinton, the Marchioness of Frinton (Jeanne Moreau). They attend the ultrafashionable Ascot horse races, a socialite event never missed by the royal family, where the Marquess has a horse competing; it wins a cup, but his pride tastes bitter when he finds Eloise committing infidelity in the Rolls-Royce with an assistant of his, without either knowing if there is actual love between them. For appearances' sake, they agree as a modus vivendi to pretend nothing has changed. The cuckolded diplomat can no longer bear to look at the Rolls-Royce, so it's sold and shipped to the Italian Riviera where, allegedly after a maharajah who lost it again in Monte Carlo casino, American mafioso Paolo Maltese (George C. Scott) buys it, eager to show his ancestral country to his spoiled, slutty fiancée Mae Jenkins (Shirley MacLaine), who appreciates nothing Italian and only starts having fun after they meet young Stefano (Alain Delon), an attractive young guide-photographer, who proves himself as an entertaining flirt. When Paolo must return for a few days to Miami for business, he leaves Mae to continue the tour, for which she couldn't care less, nor the old Lieutenant Joey Friedlander (Art Carney) left to chaperon her, so they are both bored, take a spin to the Amalfi coast, and in Soriano bump into Stefano again, who this time gets to entertain and seduce Mae, and during a swim takes her diving to a mythological nymph's grotto, where Stefano finally learns who his dangerous rival is, yet they finally kiss--silently noted by Joey--but she dreads Paolo's return and just in time decides to dump her lover rather than risk a bloodbath. In 1941, the Rolls-Royce is in Trieste, where the Yugoslav Davich (Omar Sharif) begs a ride from American celebrity Gerda Millett (Ingrid Bergman), who is on her way to visit his King Peter, and smuggles him in her trunk; soon war catches up.

  • Three separate stories of the love lives of the various owners of the same 1939 yellow Rolls-Royce Phantom are told. The original owner, Lord Charles Frinton, Marquess of Frinton (Sir Rex Harrison), buys it as a 10th-wedding anniversary present for his French wife, Lady Eloise Frinton, Marchioness of Frinton (Jeanne Moreau), on the eve of the Ascot Gold Cup, in which he has a horse entered who is expected to win. As Lord Charles focuses on the activities around the race and his diplomatic duties, he's not aware of Lady Eloise's own activities. which might make the anniverary and the gift memorable in the wrong way. Over 2,000 miles (over 3,200 kilometers) later, world-renowned American gangster Paolo Maltese (George C. Scott) buys the Rolls-Royce for his fiancée Mae Jenkins (Shirley MacLaine), in which to travel around Italy. On their travels they meet street photographer Stefano (Alain Delon), who flirts with Mae--harmlessly enough, Paolo believes. Mae calls Stefano amoral for flirting with her, an engaged woman, but she falls for him and he falls in love with her. Paolo is called back to the U.S. to deal with business, Mae and Stefano are able to spend time together, and she wonders if she loves him enough to leave him, since Paolo would never let her go, and his right-hand man Joey Friedlander (Art Carney), who saw what happened between Mae and Stefano, must decide if he will rat them out to Paolo for his own self-preservation. The car, having seen better days, in 1941 comes under the ownership of middle-aged American socialite Gerda Millett (Ingrid Bergman), an overbearing, headstrong woman who always gets her way--or else--and is oblivious to world activities outside of her general sphere. In Trieste she plans to travel to Yugoslavia to meet with the new Prince, Peter, and Yugoslavian national Davich (Omar Sharif) persuades her to give him a ride to his homeland; only when they approach the border does she learn that he is a Yugoslavian revolutionary who, despite her earlier concern, isn't about to kill Prince Peter, but to work to defeat what he and his colleagues know will be the imminent Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia. Beyond the issue of getting Davich over the border without being detected by border control, Mrs. Millett might see first-hand what he's fighting for if they do get across.

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