The 6th Annual Rule Britannia Blogathon – The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964)


This is the final of three posts dedicated to the 6th Annual Rule Britannia Blogathon being held over at A Shroad of Thoughts.

Tnx Terrance for letting me take part!

“And this is the girl, my fidanzata, that I am bringing home to meet my folks. Of all the women in the whole world that I can choose from to be my wife, who do I choose? An ignorant slob of a hatcheck girl who thinks Pisa – Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Joey – is a stopping-off place between hamburger joints.” – Paolo Maltese

Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Aug 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Three stories of the owners of a yellow Rolls-Royce during the 1930’s and 40’s in various parts of the world

My Take on it – This is a film that Ive been interested in seeing for a while ever since  I heard about it being part of the portmanteau genre where they tell numerous stories that are very different yet have a common theme that strings things together.

In this instance, the title says it all since it uses the Rolls-Royce vehicle as its main theme in order to have some kind of connection between the storylines which doesn’t work as well as it could have.

The connection between this automobile and love is quite apparent in each story and sometimes feels a bit forced.

Unfortunately, despite a clever idea, this film fails to be enjoyable enough since it relies too heavily on the gimmick than on the stories themselves which make them all seem a bit too superficial and incomplete.

The cast of this film is amazing, but the roles are all too shallow that the only two who really that shine through are Ingrid Bergman and Shirley MacLaine in their respective storylines.

The characters are all under developed and they each come across as being more eccentric and colorful than needed.

This also takes away so much of the believability of things and the stories seem less realistic than one would hope for especially since the stories need to e toned down due to them all being presented as being well “over the top.”

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that unfortunately doesn’t work as well as one would hope. Each of the stories are quite distinct yet none of them are deep enough in their story lines and they feel a bit too superficial throughout. The cast is an all-star one, yet the only two who truly shine here are Bergman and MacLaine in their respective storylines.  The characters are all a bit too colorful and that takes away from the believability and realism of its story whch might have been better if they toned things down in the way they present things.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The Rolls-Royce used in the film was a pale blue 1931 Phantom II Barker sedanca de ville, which MGM technicians covered with twenty coats of yellow paint; a few coats of black were added to the top of the hood, the roof, and the wings. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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2 thoughts on “The 6th Annual Rule Britannia Blogathon – The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964)

  1. I actually saw this movie in a theater when it first came out when I was a kid. I liked it a whole lot more than you did. It stuck in my head for years. I bought it not long ago on DVD – but have not yet watched it (so it a few times on TV in the intervening years).we do agree that it has a remarkable cast – and I found the Rolls Royce connection very interesting as the story moves along and the car itself ages and moves further and further away from its pristine condition (until finally ending up as transportation in a war zone by the end). Opening as sparkling and new as a gift from Rex Harrison to his wife, Jeanne Moreau, is perfect. The rich ad their toys. I thought the sequence at the Derby where Harrison discovers his wife’s affair (using the Rolls as a rendezvous point) was excellent – and Rex’s reaction – and subsequent action – returning the car as he can no longer see it without seeing what it represents – was well done. The next 1/3 is my favorite – with George C. Scott’s US gangster on vacation in Italy – escaping from having committed a mob hit back home and hiding out – along with his pal (a very good Art Carney) and his girlfriend – fidanzata (fiance), the excellent Shirley MacClaine – who sees the car in a showroom – falls in love with its “face” + Scott buys it as transportation while they’re there. It’s when he has to go home (to commit more mayhem) that things go sideways – when MacLaine falls for a charming and handsome “guide” – Alain Delon – and begins an affair with him while feeling abandoned by her gangster boyfriend – and Carney – loyal to both and caught in the middle – has to expose Shirley and get her killed or risk keeping the secret and getting herself killed. The sad resolution to it all is surprising in both what does and does not happen – but true to the characters -and no one goes home (or gets left behind) happy. A touching segment. The finale – set in a war in Yugoslavia with Ingrid Bergman and Omar Sharif – is the least favorite for me. But all in all – it was a classy period drama with some top acting and at least 2 (of 3) captivating stories. And then – there’s that beautiful car.

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  2. I have always enjoyed portmanteau movies. The classic produced by Amicus Productions come to mind, as well as the 1993 comedy Twenty Bucks. I have always wanted to see The Yellow Rolls Royce for that reason. It does have an amazing cast! I just hope that I enjoy it a bit more than you did. That having been said, the portmanteau genre is a bit tricky. I’ve seen too many fall apart simply because the gimmick tying the stories really didn’t work or the stories themselves weren’t that interesting. Anyway, thank you for taking part in the blogathon!

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