|Sean Connery and Gina Lollobrigida|
"You can be such a nice man, Mr. Richmond, why do you choose to act like a pig?"
Tony Richmond (Sean Connery) is the nephew of the fabulously wealthy Charles Richmond (Ralph Richardson), who adores Beethoven and has estates in Majorca and England. Tony brings in a nurse, Maria (Gina Lollobrigida), to care for Charles, but she finds him difficult, obnoxious, and cruel, especially to the two young black men he abuses and calls "boys." Nevertheless, Tony importunes Maria to stay on as nurse, hoping his uncle will become so smitten he'll marry her and she'll gain a fortune -- which, of course, she'll share with Tony. But will Tony's plan unfold as easily as he expects? Woman of Straw is a very entertaining suspense film with interesting twists and turns and a great ending. The characters, especially Maria and Charles, are more dimensional than in similar films, and the acting is fine, with an on-the-money Connery, and even better performances from Lollobrigida [Strange Bedfellows] and the outstanding Richardson [The Heiress]. Alexander Knox is also good as a police official, and Laurence Hardy and Johnny Sekka [Young and Willing] are effective as the black servants. Andre Morrell plays a judge as he did in The Great Train Robbery, also starring Connery.
Verdict: Smooth, intriguing, and well-played. ***.