Saturday, April 30, 2011


(Boris Sagal, 1978)
Here is a working definition of 'melodrama.' You'd think a movie about a woman meeting, falling in love with, and fucking her long-lost orphan son would have, you know, plot twists, but nothing whatsoever happens that isn't telegraphed in the first five minutes; such niceties would be a distraction from watching housewife turned glamorous restaurateur Sophia Loren suffer her way around Montreal in various nice outfits. Nothing particularly wrong with her performance, or with John Huston as the rather ill-defined heavy who lumbers in from time to time. But I can't really work up much interest in John Vernon's surly son of a bitch husband, or the already-doomed Steve Railsback as the callow and twinkly love interest/son. And the obvious potential for thrilling perversion is shorted out by the usual gray banality. Shot in 1978, released in 1984, looks like 1972, and kudos to the Canadian government for their generous contribution to the retirement fund of Sagal, an all-time Hollywood hack.

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