Superficial people are revealed and drastically changed by circumstance or luck in this a tale of death, seduction, blackmail and theft among British and Americans in Florence in the ...
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Superficial people are revealed and drastically changed by circumstance or luck in this a tale of death, seduction, blackmail and theft among British and Americans in Florence in the turbulent days just before World War II.Written by
In the late 1950s, Lana Turner was offered the lead role in a proposed adaptation of the novel, but after the killing of her lover, Johnny Stompanato, at the hands of her teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, Turner's casting, and eventually the film itself, did not come to fruition. See more »
When Anne Bancroft's character is reclining in the chaise lounge, the level of her drink goes from nearly full to nearly empty and back to nearly full in different shots while she is drinking it. See more »
It's the late 1930s around Florence. Sir Edgar Swift (James Fox) is the distinguished governor of Bengal who has come to court the widow Mary Panton (Kristin Scott Thomas). She loved her husband as he turned into a drunken gambler who squandered all of their money. Sir Swift proposes to her and she promises an answer upon his return. He leaves her with a gun as he fears a deteriorating security situation. She is hounded by Lucky Leadbetter (Derek Jacobi) who is after fresh-faced English young men. Princess San Ferdinando (Anne Bancroft) is a woman who had many flings and lots of connections. She introduces Mary to playboy Rowley Flint (Sean Penn) at a dinner party. Italian fascist Beppino Leopardi doesn't like Rowley. She rejects Rowley's advances and kicks him out of her car. She almost runs over Karl Richter (Jeremy Davies) who was a bad musician at the party. He's a refugee escaping the Nazis after organizing resistance as a student in Austria. She invites him back to her villa and they spend the night together. Leopardi imposes new restrictions on the foreign presence. Karl becomes unruly and Mary pulls out the gun. Karl takes it away and shoots himself with it. Rowley helps her dispose of the body.
Sean Penn somehow doesn't fit this time and this story. He never disappears into this role. He sticks out in this period piece like a sore thumb. Also the story lacks tension. There is some limited tension with Leopardi but that's resolved well before the end. The romance doesn't have any intensity. This should be a lot better. I do like Jeremy Davies' performance in a minor role.
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