×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

It Started in Naples

Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag - American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon - too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony.

With:
Clark Cable Sophia Loren Vittorio De Sica Marietto Paolo Carlini Claudio Ermelli

Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag – American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon – too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony.

The screenplay, from a story by Michael Pertwee and Jack Davies, deposits Philadelphia lawyer Clark Gable in Naples to settle the estate of his brother, recently deceased via an auto accident. What Gable discovers is that his brother’s extra-legal spouse also perished in the mishap, leaving their 10-year-old son (Marietto) in the care of the wife’s sister (Sophia Loren). While debating (in and out of court and courtship) the relative merits of a Philadelphia and Neapolitan environment for the child, Gable and Loren fall in love.

Both the script and Melville Shavelson’s direction try too hard to make the film up- roariously funny and risque. When the wit flows naturally, it is a delight; when it strains, it pains.

Gable and Loren are a surprisingly effective and compatible comedy pair. The latter, more voluptuous then ever, is naturally at home in her native surroundings and gives a vigorous and amusing performance, even tackling a couple of nightclub song-and-dance routines with gusto.

Vittorio De Sica is suave as Gable’s roving-eyed, pulchritudinously-influenced Italian attorney. Young Marietto, as the orphaned waif who smokes ciggies, guzzles wine and ogles the babes, is occasionally the victim of director’s apparent desire to overpower the spectator with overly cute postures and smart quips.

1960: Nomination: Best Color Art Direction

It Started in Naples

Production: Paramount. Director Melville Shavelson; Producer Jack Rose; Screenplay Melville Shavelson, Jack Rose, Suso Cecchi D'Amico; Camera Robert L. Surtees; Editor Frank Bracht; Music Alessandro Cicognini, Carlo Savina; Art Director Hal Pereira, Roland Anderson

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1960. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Clark Cable Sophia Loren Vittorio De Sica Marietto Paolo Carlini Claudio Ermelli

More Film

  • 'Buster Scruggs' DP Bruno Delbonnel on

    'Buster Scruggs' DP Bruno Delbonnel on Lensing Coen Brothers’ First Digital Film

    Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag – American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon – too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony. The screenplay, from a story by Michael Pertwee and Jack […]

  • Roma

    Italy's Distribution Chief: New Windowing Law Is 'Not Against' Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

    Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag – American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon – too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony. The screenplay, from a story by Michael Pertwee and Jack […]

  • Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh

    'At Eternity’s Gate' DP Benoit Delhomme on Working With Julian Schnabel

    Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag – American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon – too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony. The screenplay, from a story by Michael Pertwee and Jack […]

  • Mary Queen of Scots

    AFI Fest Film Review: Saoirse Ronan in 'Mary Queen of Scots'

    Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag – American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon – too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony. The screenplay, from a story by Michael Pertwee and Jack […]

  • Francia Raisa

    'Grown-ish' Star Francia Raisa Developing Mendez Desegregation Story

    Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag – American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon – too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony. The screenplay, from a story by Michael Pertwee and Jack […]

  • ‘I Am Not a Witch’ Overcame

    ‘I Am Not a Witch’ Overcame Shooting Challenges in Africa

    Within this charming pictorial study weaves a frothy, frank and irreverent comedy that stumbles, sputters and stammers when its stretches its one basic gag – American puritanism vs Italian moral abandon – too far, but partially restores its equilibrium with a parting shot of irony. The screenplay, from a story by Michael Pertwee and Jack […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content