Friday, October 11, 2013

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren, "The Pride and the Passion," 1957.
Sophia Loren plays a Spanish peasant fighting against Napoleonic French occupiers in this odd historical drama.  Cary Grant is an English sailor helping the Spanish in their war against the French; his mission is to move a giant canon to a fortress town so he can blow up the walls and help the Spanish take back the city.  The leader of the Spanish peasant forces is played by Frank Sinatra - I guess his New Jersey-Italian heritage made him "ethnic" enough to play a Spaniard.  He and Loren are involved at the start of the film, but perhaps it's just the cause that keeps them together.  Loren falls in love with Grant, of course; but when he offers to protect her when the battle begins - she can stay with him at the canon, while the peasant army fights the French soldiers - she chooses instead to fight alongside Sinatra.

It's an interesting film, the kind that doesn't get made much anymore.  It's a footnote to history turned into a big budget feature film, with a romance crafted out of thin air to attract some stars and create some melodrama.  I miss these types of films!

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