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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Black Orchid (1959)

A lonely widower (Anthony Quinn) and a recently widowed woman (Sophia Loren) find each other and a romance begins. But there's a major impediment when the man's adult daughter (Ina Balin) is on the verge of a nervous breakdown at the thought of her father remarrying. Directed by Martin Ritt (HUD), this is a lovely romance drama. The ending seems rushed and contrived though I suppose any other ending would have been a bummer. I just wish they had taken their time at arriving there. It usually seems some movies feel padded out but this one could have gone on another 15 or 20 minutes so the ending would be more organic and not so rushed. When Loren did TWO WOMEN two years later, everyone gushed about her emergence as a great dramatic actress but her work here (she won 2 acting awards for it) was already a sign that she wasn't just a sexy comedienne, this was an actress! Quinn is also excellent. He gets a lot of flak for his overacting (often justified) but here, he's restrained and quite endearing. Ritt has always been an actor's director, so I'll give him the credit for keeping Quinn low keyed. With Peter Mark Richmond, Virginia Vincent, Naomi Stevens and Whit Bissell. 

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