Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: When in Rome

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is

Not sure why I love this movie. It’s a post-World-War-II 1954 and America was the penultimate Good Guy. Everybody loved the good ole U S of A. After all, we had beat the crap out of Hitler and Mussolini and freed Europe, so that the French could be French again and the Italians could be Italians. It was a good time to be an American abroad. So there’s that.

Then there’s Rome. Rome, man. And Rome in the spring too. You can’t go wrong with Rome, can you? Rome puts on its best face for “Three Coins in a Fountain”. Rome is the star and the actors are only in the movie to support the city. The Eternal City has never been lovelier. So much so that the camera can’t take its lens off the City of the Seven Hills.

At the beginning, the director, Jean Negulesco, does a Woody Allen before Woody Allen did it with Manhattan. His camera surveys Rome. Its fountains. And there are a lot of fountains. With an uncredited Frank Sinatra singing “Three Coins in a Fountain”. The camera pulls back and gives a long view of the Tiber and the Seven Hills. Then more fountains. In addition to Rome, we get Venice and the Italian countryside.

The three coins of title are for the three female Americans who toss their coins into a fountain and wish. If I were looking for a cast, I couldn’t find a superber cast than the cast cast of Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Maggie McNamara and Rossana Brazzi. Each get a chance to charm our socks off. It’s great to see one of my favorite character actors, Clifton Webb, at his Clifton Webb best, a bit crusty on the outside but a sentimentalist deep down.

So we have three women who come to Rome to escape a boring life back home. One, the longest in Rome, is a secretary to writer Clifton Webb. Jean Peters is getting ready to return to America. Her replacement is Maggie McNamara, the newby.It is through her eyes mostly that the viewer discovers Rome.

So see the movie, fly to Rome, find a fountain and toss a coin in. Maybe your wishes will come true too.

What is your favorite city?


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