Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ciao, baby

"It Started in Naples." One of the writers probably jotted that title on a cocktail napkin after 10 Campari's. You can tell the movie was thrown together at the last minute. The title makes absolutely no sense because the movie starts, middles, and ends in Naples.

There's no pretence of a story -- which is kind of refreshing. Just a few links between wise-cracks, sketches, songs and kisses. Sophia and Italy are so beautiful, and Gable looks like he's having a good time, De Sica charms the hell out of me, and the whole thing makes me laugh, especially the scene in the bar and the other one in court.

I used to watch it on the late, late show when I was a kid, and can do a perfect imitation of the street urchin, "Oh, chur, eveddybody loves Nando." Now I don't know if it plays anywhere, although there's a DVD (but I'm not that far gone).

Somewhere there's a line about misspent youth, and I spent way too much of my kiddihood watching old movies, especially if Gable was in them. I had a thing about Gable, even if he was dead. Recently someone mentioned Gable in the context of he-men movie stars, and the host (or whoever) shook his head and said, "Gable was different; Gable was fragile."

Yes, god damn it, that was it. Or part of it.

So, It Started in Naples is on my short list of silly and forgotten movies that I love to love. See why, Americano.


  1. Lords of Flatbush, Sylvester Stallone, circe 1975. A great scene in the pool room where he misses a shot. I remember thinking at that time, the kid can go places.

  2. I don't think your alone in your love of It Started in Napels. JaneInsane and Zerochris give it a thumbs up. ObamaRules4Ever and FlyGirl186 on the other hand, feel that Clark Gable's talents were wasted on this meatball.

  3. Looks like you finally came down from your mountain.
    Are your 2 tablets still in tack, or did they crack?

  4. For me, it was all about Bogart. From his uber-coolness as Marlowe to his craggy sweetness in African Queen... sigh. Bogie. Sigh. I was the only one in my junior high who had Bogie's picture next to Shawn Cassidy in my locker.

    But Gable is great. And I can't believe I've never seen this movie. I thought I had seen every movie ever made from 1933 to 1980! It's kind of along the same lines as Roman Holiday and that David Lean one where Katherine Hepburn has a fling in Venice, am I right?

  5. I think I've seen it on TV in the past couple of years. Hmmm, I'll have to see the clips. Misspent youth? I think not.
    You are too young for this, but I used to wait for my parents to be asleep on Sat nite & watch the Fabulous 52 on CBS @ 11:30. Those were the best movies or maybe just seemed so since I was watching illicitly...
    L. In my Jr. High days, it was David Cassady, who is Shawn? :).

  6. Clark Gable, oh my, I just got a little weak kneed! "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" It just doesn't get any better than that.

  7. I don't know this movie. And I love old movies as you can imagine. Gotta look this up. Do you like film noir?

  8. For what it's worth, I haven't been able to get the phrase 'it middles in Naples' out of my head since yesterday afternoon.

  9. I've seen lots of Italian movies growing up. I used to have a thing for Marcello Mastrioanni.

  10. I like Houseboat, too. That's with Cary Grant and Sophia sings the Bing Bang Bong song.

    It cannot be watched without a big plate of spaghetti and a glass of dago red.

  11. Then I will devote my Saturdays to the movies none of you have ever seen.

    Laurie- hmmm, kind of, if you consider Loren is Brazzi. And it has a happy ending.
    Tash - I remember Fab 52's. That was at like 11 or 1 at night and the babysitter would watch it.
    Virgina - Yep. Wait'll you see my next Gable pick. It's soooo cool.
    Ken Mac - Do check it out; it's sweet. And yes, love the noir. Robert Michum anyone?
    K- Hah!
    MO: Houseboat. Another sweet one, although that did have a plot. Of sorts. Presto, presto, do your very besto...

  12. Oh, and Vanda, yes indeed. He was so bella. Bello.

  13. I can't believe I don't know this movie. But, in the end, I'm more of a Cary Grant girl. Now he was dreamy.

  14. then, Margaret, you'll be happy to know that Archibald Leach visits this blog from time to time.

  15. Tash, SHawn was David's little brother. HE starred in The Hardy Boys with Parker Stevenson and recorded a cover of Da Do Run Run.

    And I was convinced that he and I were destined to live together in Paris, going to French New Wave revival films and attending leftist political meetings -- I would write poetry to the beauty of his long hair, he would write songs about my muse-like genius.

    Yeah, well, I was 13.

  16. I'm telling you: dreamy, dreamy, dreamy.

  17. "A cad?" My dear girl, I'm what's known as a bon vivant.

    More sherry?