Tag Archives: Corin Redgrave

The Girl With the Pistol/La Ragazza Con Pistola (Mario Monicelli, Italy, 1968)

ragazza

I turned everything else off last night to concentrate on Mario Moncelli´s The Girl With the Pistol on TPTV, which has been unavailable in English for yonks. According to Sheldon Hall, it’s never been shown on UK TV until now; and according to Richard Layne, there’s ‘no sign of a home video release either looking at BBFC and a database of pre-cert releases’. The logo at the beginning of the film with ‘the “Paramount Communications” wording dates this to between 1989 and 1995. So presumably a US TV or DVD version’.

paramount communications

I actually liked the sound dubbing, which kept most of the Italian and just translated enough dialogue to enable one to follow the plot. Monica Vitti is the girl who´s been left dishonoured in Sicily and sets out to England to find and kill the man she loved. It´s very funny, great bits of comedy featuring an enormous ponytail at a pub, highlighting the cultural differences between medieval Sicily and Carnaby Street London, and skewering all the macho pretensions. In London, she meets Stanley Baker and Corin Redgrave and by the end, Annunziata becomes an independent woman and gets a different kind of revenge. Monicelli´s film makes everything about Britain in that period seem glamorous and aspirational, and even the extended scene in a gay pub does not descend to cheap laughs or easy condemnation. I love Monicelli. I´d never seen Vitti in a comedy, and she´s a revelation: earthy, beautiful, almost musical in her delivery and her actions, always believable and yet extraordinarily glamorous. It made me want to see all of Monicelli and all of the famous comedies Vitti’s known for in Italy.

Richard Layne informs me that, ‘There’s a nice copy on youtube in the original aspect ratio – TPTV showed it cropped to 4:3. This has the Italian soundtrack although from the bits I’ve looked at the British characters speak a mixture of English and Italian. English subtitles are available.’ That version can be seen below:

 

 

 

 

José Arroyo

James Mason and Simone Signoret in Deadly Affair

 

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The Deadly Affair (1967) seemed such an enticing project: Sidney Lumet early in his career directing an adaptation of a John Le Carré novel; the great Freddie Young as cinematographer; a Quincy Jones score with Astrud Gilberto singing the theme tune; and of course a cast that includes James Mason, Simone Signoret, Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave — both then very young; and the latter painfully thin — Robert Flemyng, Roy Kinnear, even the RSC performing bits of Edward II. But though I started watching the film, I lost interest and eventually ended up only glancing every so often. What kept me from turning it off was James Mason’s transcendental evocation of sadness and defeat, which I loved so much that I made a gif of it which you can see above; and Simone Signoret, evoking the anger and resilience of a woman from the middle of the last century who’s seen the worst, which you can see excerpted below. Sometimes, too often, actors are the only reason to see movies.

José Arroyo