6.8/10
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27 user 10 critic

Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968)

Carla Campbell receives maintenance payment from three former soldiers who all believe themselves to be the father of her daughter, Gia.

Director:

Melvin Frank
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gina Lollobrigida ... Carla Campbell
Shelley Winters ... Shirley Newman
Phil Silvers ... Phil Newman
Peter Lawford ... Justin Young
Telly Savalas ... Walter Braddock
Lee Grant ... Fritzie Braddock
Janet Margolin ... Gia Campbell
Marian McCargo ... Lauren Young (as Marian Moses)
Naomi Stevens ... Rosa
Renzo Palmer Renzo Palmer ... Mayor
Giovanna Galletti ... Countess
James Mishler James Mishler ... Stubby
Dale Cummings Dale Cummings ... Pete
Philippe Leroy ... Vittorio
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Storyline

Twenty years after their initial war-time visit three U.S. servicemen hold a reunion at an Italian village. They all have fond memories, especially of local girl Carla. But she has been telling each of them that they are the father of her daughter Gia, so they have all been paying well for her upbringing. As this dawns on the threesome old rivalries surface, but times have changed and complications such as wives, middle-age, and the need to protect Gia's future start to surface. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Take someone you love to a nice, warm, funny picture about a nice, warm, unwed mother. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

December 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell See more »

Filming Locations:

Rocca Canterano, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Connaught Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color | Color (Widescreen Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mrs. Campbell's red sports car is a Fiat 1500 Cabrio. Gia's car is a Renault Caravelle. Each taxicab is a Fiat 600 Multipla. See more »

Goofs

Justin Young says that the cumulative total payments the three men paid to Carla, "over 20 years, compounded at six percent interest, would come to $197,000." That figure is $40,000 too high. The correct amount would be just over $157,000. See more »

Quotes

Gia Campbell: It's strange. Momma, I can't find one American who's even heard of poppa.
Carla Campbell: How soon they forget.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Melrose Place: Buona Sera, Mr. Campbell: Part 1 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Army Air Corps Song
Music by Robert Crawford
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A simple yet endearing comedy which holds up well to this day
18 July 2008 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

In the '50s and '60s, perhaps thanks to the success of Neo-Realistic cinema, Italian actors and locations became quite popular in American movies, especially comedies (the amusing It Started in Naples, starring Sophia Loren and Clark Gable, is one example worth revisiting). Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, with the always lovely Gina Lollobrigida playing the main role, is probably one of the funniest hybrids of US and Mediterranean talent.

Lollobrigida plays Carla Campbell, a widow who supposedly lost her husband during WWII. She lives in the South of Italy and provides for her daughter Gia (Janet Margolin) all by herself. It's all fine until a group of soldiers who fought in Italy during the war returns for a reunion and the truth is slowly unveiled: there is no Mr. Campbell, Carla having made him up since she slept with three different men (Telly Savalas, Phil Silvers and Peter Lawford) and doesn't know which of them is Gia's father. To complicate things even more, she told all three of them the girl is their daughter. In other words: mix-ups and misunderstandings are inevitable.

The story is extremely simple and a very good premise for a comedy, so good no one has ever tried to remake it (well, if you don't count the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!, which has a similar plot). Then again, it might be hard to pull off something like it nowadays (unless the setting was some place where paternity tests don't exist) - its look on adultery isn't exactly PC (and yet it was released while the Hays Code was still functional). Still, the gags come sharp and fast, particularly when Savalas and Silvers are on screen, and Lollobrigida is, as ever, a beauty to watch and hear. Margolin isn't bad either, whereas Lawford's subdued performance doesn't really sit well with the quick wit and great physical comedy delivered by his two rivals. But that's a minor flaw in a film that doesn't show up very often, but when it does, it truly is worth catching. Where else are you going to hear Lollobrigida explain that she called herself Campbell, like a soup brand, because the only other American name she knew was Coca-Cola?


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