Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Raquel Welch and Jean Sorel
THE QUEENS (aka Le fate/1966.) Various directors.

This Italian anthology film dealing with comedic relationships between men and women has a large cast and different directors and features such weak screenplays it's a wonder it was even made. The first story is a silly concoction in which a man saves a strange woman (Monica Vitti of Modesty Blaise) from assault. The second is a weird, confusing trifle with a police officer dealing with an even stranger woman (Claudia Cardinale), who has an adorable baby, and lives in a very odd apartment overhanging a gallery thronging with people -- only there doesn't appear to be any wall, just a big open space over the gallery. The third story stars Jean Sorel [A View from the Bridge] and Raquel Welch [One Million Years B.C.] as neighbors who are married to others. Sorel wonders if his wife is carrying on with another man the way he is carrying on with Welch. This segment is the shortest and leads to nowhere, completely wasting the two sexy leads. The fourth story, which had possibilities, deals with a waiter, Giovanni (Alberto Sordi), who is importuned to sleep with a guest, a countess (Capucine), during a party. When he is hired as a chauffeur, his new employer's wife turns out to be ... the countess. She only recognizes and lusts after him when she's drunk. This segment has an especially flat ending. Vitti and Sordi give the most memorable performances.

Verdict: An intriguing idea betrayed by very poor and ill-conceived screenplays. *1/2.


angelman66 said...

Hi Bill - these 1960s anthology films must really promise more than they can deliver. The all-star casts seem very appealing, but the stories seem uneven at best.

William said...

It's a stinker -- and what a waste of Welch and Sorel, who are only given one brief love scene to begin with. The whole episode barely lasts five minutes. I hope they were both well-paid. (And I wonder what Welch thought of Sorel and vice versa. Welch was not considered likable early in her career.)

angelman66 said...

Yes, I hope Raquel has mellowed in her old age - she is very talented, but every actor and director who worked with her in the early years has NOTHING nice to say...

William said...