Monday, September 16, 2013

I dolci inganni (1960)

French Poster

In I dolci inganni, a coming-of-age story ably directed by Alberto Lattuada, Catherine plays the role of Francesca, a seventeen year old girl who thinks that she has fallen in love with Enrico, played by Christian Marquand, a thirty-seven-year-old divorced architect and friend of her family.  The film follows Francesca over the course of a day, from the time that she awakes with love on her mind until she eventually consummates that love and ultimately returns home to go to bed that evening, wondering what it all means.  During that day, we see Francesca as she interacts with her brother, school friends, and others, all the time displaying her longing to understand love at that vulnerable teenage time between childhood and adulthood.  Similar to many Italian films of the era, I dolci inganni was shot in beautiful black and white.  It also provides a very early role for the accomplished French-born actor Jean Sorel. 

As I discussed in the post entitled Early Spaak, Catherine was chosen for the role of Francesca after Sophia Loren saw Catherine being interviewed on TV and suggested to her producer-husband Carlo Ponti that Catherine might be perfect for the role.  Sophia saw something that intrigued her about Catherine.  Watching the film 50+ years later, I couldn't agree more with her.  The inexperienced, fifteen-year-old Catherine displayed a strong natural acting ability and surprising screen presence.  It would be very interesting to see the interview that caught Sophia's eye, because these qualities in Catherine are not evident in her very brief appearance in Le Trou.

In some scenes in the film where she is interacting with other actors, Catherine's inexperience seems to show a little, but that also strikes me as a positive thing.  The slight awkwardness that I noticed at times gives Francesca's character a certain vulnerability and innocence that is perfect for the role, and Catherine's overall screen presence makes for a strong performance from a girl so young.  Catherine did particularly noteworthy work in several scenes where the camera lingers on her as she is in deep thought with only her facial expressions to give us a hint at what she is thinking.  The film opens with such a scene, where she is awakening from a powerful dream.  Another occurs at around the 53-minute mark where she is leaning on a juke box and considering whether or not to go to Enrico. Finally, the film comes full-circle at the end as she is in deep thought and going to bed, ultimately looking directly into the camera before the credits roll.  Although it is not one of my favorite Catherine films, I do like the film, and many of the qualities that ultimately made Catherine a star are apparent here in her first major performance.  Below is Dylan's screen capture of the film's closing scene as Catherine looks into the camera (from his January 15, 2011 post about the film):

The film premiered in Italy on October 15, 1960 and in France on July 19, 1961.  It was known as Sweet Deceptions in the United States, but I have found no indication that it was ever released theatrically or on home video in the United States.

Catherine received her first mention in Variety, in the April 27, 1960 edition, which noted that the film was being shot on location in Rome, might be retitled Nymphette, and had "a cast headed by Katherine Spaak and Christian Marquand."  Variety also noted that filming was to begin the first week of June.  Variety followed-up, in the June 15, 1960 edition: "Christian Marquand and Katherine Spaak have the leads in Alberto Lattuada's current preoccupation, 'I Dolci Inganni' ( Titanus)."  Since the film was shooting in June of 1960, the timing of Catherine's move alone to Rome and the filming of this film are unclear (see my previous post entitled Early Spaak). She stated a few years later in interviews that she moved alone to Rome at the end of the Summer of 1960.

Here are some cool pictures of Catherine during filming:

Below are several items of promotional material related to the film, starting with Italian one panel locandina, and four panel posters:

A British Quad poster:

An Argentinian poster:
A Yugoslavian poster:
A French pressbook and French program:

Set of Italian fotobustas:

Some stills (the first one is an on-set candid of Catherine and Alberto Lattuada):

German stills:

A magazine advertisement:

A Japanese 45 rpm record:
A Japanese clipping:

A 1960 Italian magazine article about the film:

An article in the May 20, 1961 edition of Cinemonde:

An article in the April 16, 1960 issue of Jours De France:

1 comment:

  1. "Notata da Sophia Loren Dopo una comparsata nel buco di Jack Backer, viene notata da Sophia Loren che la suggerisce al compagno produttore Carlo Ponti."