The best excuse to watch again this long forgotten film of the late 50s isthe exquisite and gorgeous Sophia Loren. What a beautiful woman; a sightforsore eyes indeed!The Jean Negulesco film shows its age. This film has a little bit ofadventure, love story, suspense with the backdrop of Hydra, one of themostenchanting Aegean islands. The film might look a bit outdated to today'saudiences, but it's fun to watch Alan Ladd and Clifton Webb doing theirbestout of roles that don't require much acting. Sophia Loren is perfect asthesponge fisher who discovers a hidden treasure.I saw this movie recently on cable. It was a trip to another, moreinnocentera.
Boy On A Dolphin concerns a statue that is just that which is found bylovely sponge diver Sophia Loren in the Aegean Sea. She's got twopeople interested in it, archaeologist Alan Ladd working for the Greekgovernment and antiquity collector Clifton Webb. Sophia likes Ladd, but Webb's got the big drachmas. I'll leave it tothe experienced movie goer to figure out who she winds up with.The film was shot in the Grecian Isles it really was her first bigexposure (literally) to American audiences in an American film.Originally this was to star Robert Mitchum with her, but he backed outand Ladd was substituted.Ladd had a miserable time during this film because of the rough humorof the Greek crew regarding his height. Sophia towered over him and20th Century Fox did the usual compensating that Paramount and WarnerBrothers did with him that involved Sophia in a trench or Ladd on abox. Alan Ladd was one of the nicest of Hollywood stars, but asensitive soul and the barbs wounded him deeply.The color cinematography in Greece is first rate, you can't photographa bad color film in that location. Sophia Loren looks real good wet ordry. Reason enough to see Boy On A Dolphin.
Ah, yes! Who can forget that image of Sophia, climbing aboard a smallfishing vessel, her peasant blouse opulently revealing why she first becamea movie star? 20th-Century Fox wisely featured a snippet of that scene in"Previews of Coming Attractions" for this film when it was first beingdistributed. The production itself benefits hugely from the gorgeouslocations of its story and the Hollywood professionalism of everyoneassigned to it. All that, plus Julie London lending her breathy vocalizingto the lovely title song.One of the things I recall about it was Sophia's retort when asked how muchwould be sufficient compensation for the ancient treasure she'd found underthe Aegean. "For me, plenty of money is enough!" How convincingly shedelivered that line and how lucky we've been ever since that her stardom ledto many better displays of her talents.Where, oh! where is the DVD (CinemaScope ratio preserved, s'il vous plait!)of this sunken treasure?
I saw this movie in the theater when it first came out and then again,years later on t.v. I had the good fortune to tape it onto video as Idon't think it can be found in any video stores. I really enjoy thismovie as the story is engaging and the location shots are beautiful.Sophia Loren does a fantastic job of portraying a vibrant, headstrong,passionate woman on a mission. I've always liked Clifton Webb andthought he did a typically tight, professional turn as an arrogant,proud art dealer immersed in his own inflated sense of superiority andworldliness. Alan Ladd as Dr. Caulder of the museum in Athens is thelow point for me as I never found him to be a particularly good actor.He does okay in this movie but doesn't really fill the screen withgreat charisma. The soundtrack and the title song are fabulous - attimes lilting, haunting, and fun. I find myself humming the title themefor hours after watching the movie. How I often know whether I like amovie or not is if I want to jump into the story and "be there". Idefinitely would want to "be there".
This film was one of 1957's top grossers mainly due to the fact that inthose years the public wanted exotic European location shooting and thefilm certainly does a good job of showing Greece and Sophia Loren whois ravishing.The story is a thriller.Alan Ladd plays a archaeologist,Sophia a poor sponge diver and Clifton Webb an unscrupulous collectorof art.The plot is not really that important.What counts is the sceneryand Sophia.Alan Ladd whom I have always considered as a very goodactor, but underrated by critics does a good job,like always(he alwaystried his best), all the more so that his partner was really very muchtaller than him and he suffered from that.I don't understand whyeverybody made so much fuss about Alan Ladd's size.He was just as shortor tall as Humphrey Bogart or James Cagney or even George Raft.The filmis very enjoyable.