This film was nominated for the Oscar Awards in 1969 as the best foreign language film.
The film originated from a novel created by the Hungarian writer Molnar Ferenc in 1906.
The book was chosen as a class reader in Hungary for children aged 11.
About the book from Wikipedia:
“The book has earned the status of the most famous Hungarian novel in the world. It has been translated into many languages and in several countries (like the UK and Italy) it is a mandatory or recommended reading in schools. Ernő Nemecsek is now ranked there among the eternal heroes of youth literature like Oliver Twist or Tom Sawyer. The novel can be easily read in most parts of the world as if its story could have happened anywhere and in any age.”
Asya Klyashina is a cook in a small Russian village, lame and unmarried. During harvest time she works at a field camp where she renews acquaintance with Sasha, a driver returned from the city, who announces that he loves her but has no thought of marriage. Mothers look after their children amid the harvest; the men reminisce about the Patriotic War (“fighting for the Motherland, for Stalin”) and about the prison camps after the war. But complications to her life start when Asya discovers she is pregnant by another youth, Stephan. Continue reading
Pasolini’s ‘Decameron’ at the Film Festival
Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian director, has always been something of a puzzle for American critics, not simply because we have to reconcile his announced Marxism with what appears to be a kind of reformed Christianity (as reflected by the neo-realistic “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” as well as by the austerely allegorical “Teorema”), but because he forces us to keep shifting critical gears. No three Pasolinis are ever quite alike. At best, they come in pairs, like “Oedipus Rex” and “Medea,” neither of which have yet been released here.
There is, however, a peculiar kind of romanticism throughout all of his films. It is a middle-class romanticism that idealizes the spiritual and emotional freedom that Pasolini sees in what we used to call The Common Man, who, in slightly more straightforward, class-conscious Europe, is still The Peasant. As if he were some medieval maiden locked in a tower, Pasolini seems to long for the freedom to do what the simple folk do, which, to Pasolini, evokes sexual liberation as much as anything else.
In none of his films has this been more apparent than in his marvelous new work, “The Decameron,” which is as close to being uninhibited and joyful as anything he’s ever done.
A woman writes a best-selling book for women warning them about the “dangers” of men. A handsome photographer for a national magazine arrives in her town to do a feature story on her. Complications ensue.
The lady of the title is author Dorinda Hatch (Joan Caulfield), who writes a scathing best-seller in which she trashes all men. Photographer Bill Shelby (David Niven) vows to make Dorinda eat her words, thereby proving the superiority of the male of the species. Suffice to say that he doesn’t succeed–at least until the very, very end. The middle portion of The Lady Says No consists of a surrealistic dream sequence in which Dorinda realises that she loves Bill despite his rampant chauvinism. This film is not a likely candidate for screening at the next N.O.W. meeting. Lady Says No was produced and directed by Frank Ross, who at the time was married to star Joan Caulfield.
The 1968 film shows Fedor Karamazov as a stingy old man, who’s three sons are after his money. The Karamazov brothers, Dmitri, a gambler, Ivan, a thinker, and Aleksei, a monk, are living through their different problems. Ivan is trying to save the world by making a story of “The Great Inquisitor”. Dmitri, who lost money in gambling, is begging his father to help him. But the father gives a lot of money to his mistress Grushenka.
Northern Lawyer John Reynolds (John Wayne) goes up against the lottery racket in 1880 corrupt Louisiana.
While on the riverboat to New Orleans, he meets and falls in love with Southern Belle, Julie (Ona Munson), General Anatole Mirbeau’s beautiful daughter. The General (Henry Stephenson) and his right-hand man Blackburn ‘Blackie’ Williams (Ray Middleton) run the popular Louisiana State Lottery Company, which support illegal activities and brothels while corrupting judges and other city officials. The battle between the men are complicated with Reynolds’ love for the General’s daughter and interrupted by torrential rain storms that breaks the levees, floods the city and threatens to destroy the city of New Orleans.
Stylishly directed by Bernard Vorhaus who had previously directed John Wayne in the memorable drama, Three Faces West. Includes an early performance by Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones). Continue reading
20th Century-Fox evidently adored “triangle” comedies like Wife, Husband and Friend; apparently so did Loretta Young, who appeared in most of these films. Young plays the wife of businessman Warner Baxter, while “friend” Cesar Romero is an amorous singing teacher who convinces Young that she has a future in opera. To show up his wife, Baxter takes lessons from diva Binnie Barnes–and as it turns out, he’s the one with the ideal operatic voice. The romantic quadrangle is resolved when Baxter makes a disastrous stage debut, whereupon Romero and Barnes exit and Baxter and Young realize the error of their ways. Wife, Husband and Friend was remade in 1949 as Everybody Does It, with Paul Douglas (of all people) as the would-be Caruso. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading