THE MONTECARLO STORY
(director: Sam Taylor; screenwriters: from a story by Sam Taylor, Marcello & Dino Girosi/Sam Taylor; cinematographer: Giuseppe Rotunno; editor: George White; music: Renzo Rossellini; cast: Marlene Dietrich (Maria de Crevecouer), Vittorio De Sica (Count Dino della Fiaba), Arthur O’Connell (Homer Hinkley), Natalie Trundy (Jane Hinkley), Jane Rose (Mrs. Freeman), Mischa Auer (Hector), Alberto Rabagliati (Albert, doorman); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Marcello Girosi; MGM (United Artists); 1956-Italy/USA)
“The stars give the romantic comedy some charm.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Mostly shot on location in Monte Carlo, with a keen eye for color and the scenic beauty by photographer Giuseppe Rotunno. Sam Taylordirects in a sentimental way, adapting the story he wrote with Dino and Marcallo Girosi. Italian Count Dino (Vittorio De Sica) lost his fortune a few years ago gambling in the casino by playing his system. His local friends who work at the hotel help him get back on his feet by supporting him while he tries his luck again at the casino. When Countess Maria (Marlene Dietrich) visits Monte Carlo, he sees the attractive woman as someone rich he can marry who will support him, but she’s also broke and looks upon him in the same way. They court each other but before marrying they discover they are both fortune hunters. The two compulsive gamblers quit as lovers but team up as a brother and sister act to prey on a hick American millionaire tourist, the widower Homer Hinkley (Arthur O’Connell), who sails into Monte Carlo with the yacht he just bought in France and his perky 18-year-old daughter Jane (Natalie Trundy). After damaging Count Dino’s boat, the one without a motor won at poker from a Greek, while pulling into the harbor, everyone becomes familiar after the tourist agrees to pay for the damages. Maria lures the Ugly American, while Dino dates the daughter. But the scam artists can’t go through with their con when they realize they are perfectly matched as soul mates, so the Hinkleys sail back to Indiana and the gamblers form a partnership. The noted stars give the romantic comedy some charm, but nothing more emerges from this disappointing banal tale.
REVIEWED ON 10/14/2016 GRADE: B-