Saturday, October 9, 2021

SOPHIA LOREN: "1957"

Her name was Sofia Costanza Brigida Villani Sciolone and she was born in Rome, Kingdom of Italy, on September 20, 1934. The world knows the motion picture actress by her stage name, SOPHIA LOREN, and this article is about one critical year in her life, and three motion pictures.












































In 1950, 15-years-old Sofia Sciolone, using the name of Sofia Lazzaro, did two things.
























The first was representing the Lazio region of Italy in the "Miss Italia" beauty pageant. She won the title of "Miss Elegance"!

The second was enrolling in the "Centro Sperimentale di Cinematographia (known as either, Experimental Film Centre, or the, Italian National Film School)" 

Her first on-screen appearance was an uncredited role, still using the name of Sofia Lazzaro, in 1950's, "Totoarzan (Toto Tarzan)". Which was a parody of Edgar Rice Burrough's "Tarzan", starring Italian comedian Toto in the "Tarzan" role, and Sofia as a "Una tarzanide (A Tarzan Aide)".

"Totoarzan" would be followed by another fifteen Italian motion pictures through 1953, as Sofia's roles grew in size, and she was either billed as Sofia Lazzaro, or Sofia Scicolone. During this period, at the age of sixteen, Sofia Lazzaro appeared as "Lygia's Slave", without  credit, in her first American made motion picture filmed in Rome, 1951's, "Quo Vadis", starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, and Leo Glenn. Two other uncredited actors in the motion picture were, Elizabeth Taylor as a "Christian Prisoner in the Arena", she was vacationing in Rome at the time, and, Christopher Lee as a "Chariot driver". The following year, the future British Horror star would be seen in Burt Lancaster's, "The Crimson Pirate", as "Joseph-the Military Attache".


After Sophia completed, "Africa sotto i mari (Africa Under the Seas)",  released on March 20, 1953, for producer Goffredo Lombardo. Lombardo had met with producer Carlo Ponti and both agreed that for her next motion picture, Sofia Lazzaro, would now be, "Sophia Loren, a twist on the name of the popular international Swedish actress, Marta Toren.


In the United States, my reader could not see any of Loren's Italian motion pictures, except 1951's American made, "Quo Vadis". Unless they were either released in subtitled, or dubbed into English language versions at "Art House Move Theaters". The English language version of "Africa sotto i mari", was known as, "Women of the Red Sea", but the picture was only released in the United Kingdom in 1956.

By the end of 1956, Sophia Loren was a major Italian movie actress, and her work was basically shown outside Italy in France and Spain.

Before I go to 1957, I want to mention the Italian epic, "Attia" aka: "Attila, il flagello di Dio (Attila the scourge of God)", released in Italy on December 27, 1954. 































The motion picture starred Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn, who spoke fluent Italian, as "Attila". Sophia Loren as "Hororia", and French actor Henri Vidal as "Aetius". There were no plans to release the Italian-French co-production in an English language version when it was made, but after 1957. The motion picture was dubbed into English by the two stars and others, and would be released in the United States and London, England, on May 17, 1958.



"1957"

The year, 1957, became a pivotal turning point in the motion picture career of Sophia Loren. She would make three feature films, all from the United States, and obtain "International Stardom"! Although, many sites claim that "Stardom" came from her five-film, 1958, contract with "Paramount Pictures".

However, without the successes of the following feature films, the Paramount Executives would never have offered the Italian actress a contract of any size.


BOY ON A DOLPHIN had its world premiere in San Francisco, California, on April 10, 1957.





According to her biographers and some movie critics, this was Sophia Loren's first English speaking motion picture role. However, that may be on a technicality, as my reader will find out. 

"Boy on a Dolphin", was the first American film shot in Greece. Exteriors were shot on one of the Saronic Islands, Hydra, with establishing shots in Athens, Rhodes and Delos, but interior scenes were filmed at Cinecitta Studios in Rome.

The motion picture was very loosely based upon a novel by author David Divine of the same name. Initially, novelist Leon Uris, 1953's, "Battle Cry", 1955's, "The Angry Hills", and the year after this picture, 1958's, "Exodus", was to adapt the novel and write the screenplay. I could not locate the reason he was replaced on the project, but apparently Uris never wrote a screenplay.

The screenplay used, was from co-writer, Ivan Moffat. Who in 1956, wrote the screenplays for, the Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger, "Bhowani Junction", the Robert Taylor and Richard Todd, "D-Day, the Sixth of June", and director George Stevens', "Giant", starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean

 Moffat's co-writer, was Dwight Taylor. Who had written screenplays starting in 1930, that included the Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire musical's, 1934, "The Gay Divorcee", 1935's, "Top Hat", and 1936's, "Follow the Fleet". Along with the classic film-noir, 1941's, "I Wake Up Screaming", starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature, and Carole Landis. 

Like the change in the writer for the screenplay, the director of "Boy on a Dolphin", was originally to have been, Henry Kostner, but he was still completing, "D-Day, the Sixth of June". So, Jean Negulesco was hired, between 1936 and 1944, he only directed short subjects, and would finally direct his first motion picture in1944. That was the film-noir, "The Mask of Dimitrios", starring Sidney Greenstreet and Zachery Scott.

The originally announced stars of the film were Cary Grant, Clifton Webb and Joan Collins. In 1957, Joan Collins had first billing over Richard Burton, in the 20th Century Fox drama, "The Sea Wife". Which was also released in April 1957, and may have been the reason for Collins not having the female lead in "Boy on a Dolphin", and being replaced by Sophia Loren.


Alan Ladd portrayed "Dr. James Calder". Cary Grant had the role, but left just before shooting started. This was possibly tied to his marriage problems, see the next film, and Ladd stepped in. Alan Ladd had just been seen in director Gordon Douglas' post-Civil War Western, "The Big Land", co-starring Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien. The actor followed this feature film with the World War 2 drama, 1958's, "The Deep Six".

Back in 1954, two events were effecting the American motion picture industry, the "House Committee on Un-American Activities, and money in European banks from before the Second World War. To bring those funds back to the United States would have cost the studios major American tax dollars. So, they made films in Europe, like 1951's "Quo Vadis", to avoid the Internal Revenue Service. 

Another such motion picture was "The Black Knight", and it starred Alan Ladd as a blacksmith in "King Arthur's" England. There were two other actors that got caught up in similar films, but made in the United States. My article, "Tony Curtis", Alan Ladd, and Robert Wagner Visit King Arthur", may be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/05/ 






























Clifton Webb portrayed "Victor Parmalee". Webb was a very versatile actor, he was Waldo  Lydecker", in director Otto Preminger's 1944 film-noir, "Laura", starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. He had appeared in a small series of family films as butler, "Mr. Belevedere", starting with 1948's, "Sitting Pretty", co-starring with Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara. Webb, was "March King", "John Philip Sousa",  in the 1952, Hollywood biography, "Stars and Stripes Forever", and immediately before this motion picture. Clifton Webb was the real-life, British "Navy Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montague", in 1956's, "The Man Who Never Was". Which is the true story about how the Allies fooled the Germans on the location of the invasion of Sicily.



















Sophia Loren portrayed "Phaedra". Loren had just been seen in 1956's, "La fortuna di essere donna (The Luck of Being a Woman)" aka: "What a Woman", co-starring French-American actor, Charles Boyer, and Italian actor, Marcello Mastroianni, who would become her main co-star in several Italian films. "The Luck of Being A Woman" wouldn't be seen in the United States until 1986 in a New York City film festival.

























Above, Loren and Mastroianni, below, Loren in "Boy on a Dolphin".







Sophia Loren is credited with singing the Greek song, "What is this thing they call love" ("Tι΄ναι αυτό που το λένε αγάπη"). In actuality, the song is a combination of two singers, one being Loren, but the other, as she did in 1953 for Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend", Marni Nixon. Nixon's singing voice was remixed into the song, because Sophia Loren could not hit all the required notes. The official cast listing reads, "Marni Nixon, singer: wordless vocalizing (uncredited)". 

As of this writing, the following link will take my reader to the song performed by Sophia Loren and the "Ghost Vocals" of Marni Nixon. People still think the song was entirely performed by Loren.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+boy+on+the+dolphin+song+by+sophia+loren&view=detail&mid=0B4A79ADA50484FC9D860B4A79ADA50484FC9D86&FORM=VIRE

For those interested in the singing voice of Deborah Kerr in 1956's, "The King and I", Natalie Wood in 1961's, "West Side Story", and Audrey Hepburn, in 1964's, "My Fair Lady". You will find my article, "Marni Nixon: The Ghost Singer Behind the Actresses", at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2021/10/marni-nixon-ghost-singer-behind.html


My readers may be familiar with Alan Ladd's height problem in director George Stevens' 1953 Western, "Shane", if not I'll explain. Alan Ladd stood 5 feet 6 inches tall, and Jack Palance stood 6 feet 4 inches. For the classic scene of the two actors meeting at the bar, Jack Palance stood in a hole so Alan Ladd could appear as tall as Palance.

A similar problem occurred in "Boy on a Dolphin", because Sophia Loren was two inches taller than Alan Ladd. In some shots, Ladd was standing on a box and in the scene of the two walking along the beach, Loren was walking in a trench.






Note in the above scene, Loren in standing in the boat, and Ladd is standing on the dock, giving the appearance that he is taller than her, but his real height stands out and wouldn't be noticed by the audience engaged in the story.


That romantic drama's story line is very familiar and predictive, and revolves around sponge diver, "Phaedra", finding a statue of a "Boy on a Dolphin". "Phaedra" works from the boat of her Albanian boyfriend, "Rhif", played by Spanish film actor, Jorge Mistral. 































The legend states that the statue, lost for 2,000-years, has magical powers and it's brought to the surface, bringing pride to the City of Hydra..






















"Phaedra" wants to sell the statue to the highest bidder, against the wishes of the other residents of Hydra, who want to keep the statue in the city. Enter, ""Dr. James Calder", an honest archeologist, who wants to give the statue to the Greek authorities, and "Victor Paramlee", an unscrupulous profit minded seller of historic artifacts he acquires by any means. 

Both men now attempt to get "Phaedra's" cooperation in their plans for the statue.















































































Above, "Parmalee" makes a proposition for the statue to "Rhif", "Phaedra", and "Dr. Hawkins", played by Laurence Naismith, and they strike a tentative deal. Below, now starting to have feelings for "Dr. Calder", "Phaedra" is thinking about giving the statue to him, but "Rhif" wants to make their deal with "Parmalee" work and get paid for the statue.



















In the end, the residents of Hydra are happy with the outcome, "Phaedra" is in the arms of "Dr. Calder", and, "Victor Paramlee" sets sail in his yacht for Monte Carlo.


If one believes the following piece of publicity actually contains what Ed Sullivan thought of Sophia Loren. He was wrong, and she did not get an "Academy Award" nomination for "Boy on a Dolphin". Only the musical score by Hugo Friedhofer was nominated and lost to Malcolm Arnold for "The Bridge on the River Kwai".



































Sophia Loren's next feature film was actually shot before "Boy on a Dolphin", but wasn't released until after. So technically, this is her first English language motion picture.


THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION released July 10, 1957.







Cecil Louis Troughton Smith was an English novelist who used the pen name of Cecil Scott "C.S." Forester. He is best known for his ten novels following the career of British Napoleonic Naval Officer, "Horatio Hornblower", that were started in 1937. In 1951, Gregory Peck starred in "Captain Horatio Horblower", directed by Raul Walsh, and co-starring Virginia Mayo. Also in 1951, another of Forester's novel, from 1935, was turned into a motion picture. Directed by John Huston, "The African Queen", starred Humphrey Bogart, and Katharine Hepburn. Both motion pictures were very successful at the Worldwide box office and the idea of turning another of his novels, "The Gun", published in 1933, into a screenplay attracted American producer and director Stanley Kramer.

"The Gun" is set during the Napoleonic War in Spain. It follows Spanish and Portuguese partisans and their British allies, against the French in the Peninsular War, and makes a great subject for an epic Hollywood motion picture. Stanley Kramer had husband and wife screenwriters, Edward and Edna Anhalt, known for the Richard Widmark, 1950, "Panic in the Streets", directed by Elia Kazen, and, his own, 1955, "Not as a Stranger", starring Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, and Robert Mitchum, write the screenplay.


Director Stanley Kramer's last feature was that medical drama, "Not as a Stranger", and he would follow this picture with the original, 1958, "The Defiant Ones", starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier.


Cary Grant portrayed "Captain Antony Trumbull, Royal Navy". Grant had just been seen in Alfred Hitchcock's, 1955, "To Catch a Thief", co-starring Grace Kelly. He would follow this picture co-starring with Deborah Kerr in 1957's, "An Affair to Remember".























Frank Sinatra portrayed "Miguel". Sinatra had produced and starred in the 1956 Western, "Johnny Concho". The film wasn't the success he had hoped for, but is looked upon by some film historians as a minor attack on McCarthyism and a variation of 1952's, "High Noon".

"Johnny Concho" is a favorite of mine, and so are two other of Sinatra's dramatic films, "The Man with the Golden Arm", and, "The Joker is Wild". My article, "Frank Sinatra: Three Dramatic Motion Picture Roles", is at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/11/frank-sinatra-three-dramatic-motion.html























Sophia Loren portrayed "Juana". 























Theodore Bikel portrayed "French General Jouvet". Character actor Bikel had just been in the 1957 crime drama, set in Italy and France, "The Vintage", starring Pier Angeli, Mel Ferrer, and John Kerr. He would follow this feature with the still excellent and exciting World War 2 German submarine chase, 1957's, "The Enemy Below", starring Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens.























In a lot of respects, the star of this motion picture is the cannon, "The Gun"! The weekend the film opened, I went to the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles to see the motion picture in its exclusive engagement, and, out front, of the theater, on the street, was one of the prop cannons used in the movie. 

 






















The film was shot in Spain, and opens with the French army, on the Spanish Peninsula, being pursued by the Spanish army. The cannon is slowing down their retreat and the commander orders it pushed off a cliff, so they can escape.








  














Cut to, Royal Navy artillery officer, "Captain Anthony Trumbull", arriving at Spanish Army headquarters to take possession of the cannon. However, he discovers that the Spanish Army has left and the city is in the hands of a band of guerilla's led by shoe maker, "Miguel".























At "Miguel's" side is his girlfriend, "Juana", as he cannot read, but she can. "Miguel" has her read "Trumbull's" orders and "Miguel" asks if the other wants to see the cannon?























Inspecting the cannon, "Trumbull" is sure he can repair it, if there are blacksmiths available to fix the wheels. The canon is raised, see the above picture, and the guerilla's make the repairs. Which brings the story to the first confrontation between the Naval officer and the Guerilla leader. "Miguel" insists that before the cannon is taken to the port to be transferred to the British ship. The Ordinance Officer will help his guerillas destroy the fortified walls surrounding the City of Avila, the main headquarters of the French in Spain, located 620 miles away from the Spanish army headquarters. "Miguel" has a dream of seeing the "Statue of Saint Teresa" in the freed town square. "Trumbull" is forced into accepting "Miguel's" terms, because he needs the guerillas to move the cannon to the sea.




















































Now begins the journey, and a developing love between "Trumbull" and "Juana", as "Miguel" questions her love for him, and the people rally to the cannon. In Avila, "General Jouvet" orders the daily hanging of Spanish citizens for not revealing the location of the cannon.











































At an encampment, "Juana" dances for the guerillas and townspeople that have joined them, but especially for "Anthony". 

































































They now reach a mountain pass that obviously is controlled by artillery sent there by "Jouvet". The cannon is pulled through the pass as thr French artillery opens up on the people below the cliffs, killing many, and leaving bodies throughout the pass.

They next reach a river and have to build a raft with control lines of hundreds of people to be able to float the cannon to the other side, but it breaks loose pulling people into the water. As the cannon's raft moves in the river's current, it enters the rapids, people run after it on both sides of the river, the cannon crashes into the muddy bank on the side they needed it.





























































The cannon with its growing followers push the cannon up a steep hill, but it must also go down. 































"Miguel" doesn't understand that as the heavy cannon goes downhill the speed will increase. "Anthony" and "Miguel" mount the cannon to control the two brakes as it is lowered down the hill with people on control lines, but as predicted, the cannon picks up speed and become uncontrollable by the two men. "Captain Anthony Trumbull" orders the guerrillas on the lines to drop them and with "Miguel", the two jump off. As "The Gun", continues to pick up downhill speed and crashes into the trees below.
































The cannon needs repairs again, and is smuggled into a cathedral to be worked upon. A Spanish spy for the French sees it and reports his find, but when the French arrive, the cannon is gone. The cannon and the guerillas are disguised in an ornamental religious parade.


































Now, "The Gun", finally reaches the outskirts of the fortified City of Avila, and "General Jouvet" gets his first view of those that oppose him.








































"Trumbull" will fire the cannon to take down the walls, "Miguel" will lead the charge through the breaks in the fortified walls "Captain Trumbull" will create. Before the attack, "Anthony" wants "Juana" to stay by the cannon, but "Juana" replies that she must go with "Miguel" and free Avila.






"Trumbull" begins his attack on the walls and as they crumble, the Spanish Guerilla's run through the French cannon bombardment to free the people of Avila and drive off the French invaders.




































































The battle is over, the city taken, "Trumbull" starts to walk toward the city, and finds the body of "Juana". She never made it half-way to the walls, now he goes into the city and finds the body of  "Miguel". "Trumbull" carries "Miguel's" body to the statue of "Saint Teresa", and tenderly places it next to the statue.



























 



"The Pride and the Passion"
ends with a long shot of "Royal Navy Ordinance Captain Anthony Trumbull" leading a group of guerillas pulling the cannon toward the sea and the waiting British ship.


Like many motion pictures and television programs of the 1950's and 1960's, "Dell Comics" released a comic book version of the motion picture that I bought at the time.
































My reader might find it fun to look at examples of these comics, my article, "Dell Comic Books:  A Reflection of America in the 1950's and 1960's", at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/10/dell-comic-books-reflection-of-america.html


There were two marriages on-the-rocks and one romance associated with filming "The Pride and the Passion". All had, not only tabloids in the United States, but Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom running front page gossip stories.

The first was the reason Frank Sinatra agreed to be in the Stanley Kramer motion picture at all. He was having marital problems with his wife actress Ava Gardner. Gardner was in Spain and Europe to film the Ernest Hemmingway story, "The Sun Also Rises", with co-stars Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn. When Sinatra realized there was no chance of a reconciliation, he asked Kramer to cut his role and speed up filming his scenes. Stanley Kramer agreed and the tabloid rumor mills kept going, leaving questions on how that agreement effected the original screenplay.

The second was the troubled marriage of Cary Grant to actress and writer, Betsy Drake, she had co-starred in two of his movies. Their marriage would still last another five-years, but one of their problems took place during the filming of "The Pride and the Passion".

This was the alleged affair between Cary Grant and Sophia Loren, with speculation he planned on divorcing Drake. However, Sophia Loren married her mentor and agent Carlo Ponti later in 1957. That marriage would be annulled in 1962, but the two would remarry in 1966, and stay married until his death in 2007.

Both Cary Grant and Sophia Loren were reunited the following year for the 1958 comedy, "Houseboat".


"The Pride and the Passion" is one of four Hollywood motion pictures related to Spain, that I use in my article, "La historia de España como fue creada por Hollywood: cuatro películas (Spain's History As Created By Hollywood: Four Films)", found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/08/la-historia-de-espana-como-fue-creada.html


The 22-years-old Italian actress had now played opposite, Alan Ladd, Clifton Webb, Cary Grant, and, Frank Sinatra, in the same year. Yet, there was one more American leading man to come, before 1957 was concluded.



LEGEND OF THE LOST released on December 17, 1957.






Note the tag line on the above poster:
WAYNE TANGLES WITH LOREN

"Legend of the Lost" was only released five months after "The Pride and the Passion", but both John Wayne's "Batjac Productions" and distributor "United Artists", felt Sophia Loren was now a major audience draw in the United States. The motion picture was a co-production with Italy and the means of acquiring Wayne's two co-stars. American producer Henry Hathaway's co-producer was Libyan Robert Haggiag and the motion picture was filmed in both Rome and the Libyan desert. 

"Legend of the Lost" was also directed by Henry Hathaway. Hathaway had started directing in 1930, for actor Tyrone Power, he directed both "Johnny Apollo", and, "Brigham Young", in 1940, but over his career. Henry Hathaway would also direct John Wayne in, 1941's, "The Shepard of the Hills", 1960's, "North to Alaska", 1964's, "Circus World", 1965's, "The Sons of Katie Elder", and, 1969's, "True Grit", 

The screenplay came from two screenplay writers:

Robert Presnell, Jr., the third, "Jack the Ripper", movie, the first was from Alfred Hitchcock, based upon author Marie Belloc Lowndes' classic, "The Lodger", "Man in the Attic", starring Jack Palance, but Presnell was mainly a television writer. 

The other writer was anything but a television writer. Ben Hecht had co-written the 1928 play "The Front Page", which was made into many motion pictures over the years and even a television series. He co-wrote the screenplay for director Howard Hawks' original 1932, "Scarface". His other work included, 1934, "Viva Villa!", 1939's, "Gunga Din", the Christmas classic, 1939's, "It's a Wonderful World", he contributed to "Gone with the Wind", wrote Alfred Hitchcock's 1945 "Spellbound", and 1946, "Notorious". Along with the classic film-noir introducing Richard Widmark as an emotionless killer, 1947's, "Kiss of Death", and, Kirk Douglas', Italian language, 1954, "Ulysses".

John Wayne portrayed "Joe January". Wayne was just in director John Ford's,1957, "The Wings of Eagles", co-starring Maureen O'Hara. He would follow this feature with director John Huston's 1958, "The Barbarian and the Geisha". 

John Wayne was always attempting to change his Cowboy persona to prove he could really act. Both the aforementioned "Circus World", and, "The Barbarian and the Geisha", are two films in his quest to prove he wasn't just a Cowboy, and are part of my article, "John Wayne: Four Gutsy Role Choices", at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/04/john-wayne-four-gutsy-role-choices.html














Sophia Loren portrayed "Dita".



 

 





































Rossano Brazzi portrayed "Paul Bonnard". Italian leading man Brazzi started acting in 1938 and in 1945, was in the Italian "l dieci commandamenti (The Ten Commandments)". Which was one of only two Vatican supported motion pictures made during the Nazi occupation of Rome. The film is made-up of ten segments that represent each commandment, and Braizzi's was "Do not commit impure acts". His first American film was the 1954 romance, "Three Coins in the Fountain", and that years was also in the Humphrey Bogart and Ava Garner, 1954, "The Barefoot Contessa". With his singing voice dubbed, Rossano Brazzi co-stared with singer and actress Mitzi Gaynor in the 1958 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's, "South Pacific".



















"Legend of the Lost" is about a hunt for a missing father and a treasure located somewhere in the vast Sahara Desert. 

"Joe January" is the best guide for travelers wanting to see the Sahara. "Dita" is a girl of the streets, although the word prostitute is never used, of Timbuktu and always a throne in the side of "January". "Paul Bonnard" is a religious zealot looking for his father, or is it the treasure the missing father may have found?

Mix these three together and my reader has the entire storyline for the motion picture.

"Paul" comes to Timbuktu, at the entrance to the Sahara, to find a guide to take him into the desert, and the local Prefect, "Dukas", played by Kurt Kaznar, suggests "Joe January". The two go in search of "Joe", and this introduces to the audience "Bonnard's" extreme religious beliefs.


















After not locating "January", "Paul" starts to return to his hotel, but pickpocket "Dita" expertly steals from him and this introduces her to the audience.










































The Prefect locates a drunken "Joe January", and explains what "Bonnard" wants. The Prefect, for his usual fee, will supply the trip and provide pack animals. At this point, both men believe "Paul Bonnard" just wants the normal trip to the local sites.





































"Joe" finds "Dita" with "Paul", and chases the girl away from him. After discussing the particulars of a normal tourist trip into the Sahara, "Joe" tells "Paul" to get plenty of sleep, as they will be leaving very early in the morning. "January" wakes up to find "Paul" having been up all night with "Dita", attempting to reform her with his religious beliefs.

 

























Above an Italian lobby card for the motion picture under that country's release name.


As the two start to leave Timbuktu, "Dita" asks to go along, but "Joe" chases her away once more.













 











However, after traveling for some time, a group of Arab horsemen are seen on a dune and "Joe January" checks his gun, but an Arab woman dismounts and starts to approach the two men, revealing herself to be "Dita". The horsemen turn and ride away, forcing "Joe" to take "Dita" along, or make her walk back to Timbuktu.























































When "Paul" explains he is looking for a lost Roman city, "Joe" can't believe he's looking for "Timgad", a fable of the desert. The three-keep moving in the direction indicated on "Paul's" map that was sent to him by his father in a bible. It becomes apparent that "Paul Bonnard" is obsessed with finding "Timgad" and apparently a treasure his father mentioned. As the journey, with supplies running out, "Dita" and "Joe" become closer to each other with a bit of love entering their attraction.
















































































Their water finally runs out, there is a bottle of whiskey "Joe" has, and the three are close to dying of thirst. When the city is discovered, but as "Joe" and "Dita" refresh themselves at a well, obsessed "Paul" has disappeared.


























The two rejoin "Paul" by three skeletons, a woman and two men, and it becomes obvious that "Paul's" father found the woman in the arms of their guide, shot both of them, and then killed himself. The religious zealot "Paul's" faith in his father is no more, takes the bottle of whiskey, and becomes drunk. 




















While, "Paul" wonders around the Roman ruins, "Joe" is able to decipher the clues to the treasure found in "Paul's" father's bible. The three now locate the treasure and load it on their pack animals, preparing to leave the following morning. "Paul" attempts to seduce "Dita", she rejects him, and a fight between "Paul" and "Joe" follows, ending with "Paul" going to another part of the ruins for the night.




















When, "Joe January" and "Dita" wake-up the next morning, "Paul Bonnard" has left during the night, taking the treasure, their supplies, and their animals.

"Joe" and "Dita", on foot, go after "Paul" and find him unconscious from dehydration. "Joe' and "Dita" now dig for water, after noticing the spot the pack animals are digging at , but "Paul" regains consciousness, sees them, buries the treasure, attacks "Joe" from behind with a knife, but "Dita" shoots and kills him. Near death, "Joe" and "Dita" see an Arab caravan and will be rescued.


There's a slight problem with locations in the plot:

The supposed lost city of "Timgad" was an actual Roman City, located in the Aures Mountains of the Atlas Mountain System of Algeria and northwestern Tunisia, in North Africa. 



 























"Timbuktu" is located in the Republic of Mali, at the time of filming, still under French occupation, 12 miles north of the Niger River, on the southern edge of the Sahara. As the following map indicates, according to this screenplay, "Joe January", "Dita", and "Paul Bonnard" would have traveled across all of Algeria into the mountains at the border of Tunisia to reach "Timgad", but who cares for reality in a "Hollywood" movie?



























On March 12, 1958, in New York City, the first motion picture in Sophia Loren's five picture contract with "Paramount Pictures" opened. "Desire Under the Elms", was based upon a play by playwright Eugene O'Neil, from a screenplay by author Irwin Shaw. First billing went to Sophia Loren, and her co-stars were, Anthony Perkins and Burl Ives.












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