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USA 1969
Directed by
Stanley Kramer
140 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

The Secret Of Santa Vittoria

Mainstream Hollywood by the 1960s had lost its way trying to please middle America and was floundering in a sea of blandness.  Stanley Kramer’s adaptation of Robert Crichton's best-selling World War II dramedy is a good example of the result.

Anthony Quinn rolls out his wily drunk routine as Bombolini, a hen-pecked buffoon who accidentally becomes mayor of a small wine-growing town in Italy and as a result has to hide a million bottles of plonk from the occupying Germans, headed up by Hardy Kruger as a well-mannered Nazi. The stereotypical characters, the sanitized treatment, the obligatory romance (supplied by Virna Lisi and Sergio Franchi) and the general sense of production line familiarity gives the film a ersatz quality (not a little compounded by the fact that all the actors are speaking English) that Giuseppe Rotunno’s travelogue photography, Quinn’s seasoned hamming and the attractive cast including Anna Magnani and a young Giancarlo Giannini can do nothing to lift above the so-so.

DVD Extras: Theatrical trailer

Available from: Shock Entertainment




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