Tyrannical but ailing tycoon Charles Richmond (Richardson) becomes very fond of his attractive Italian nurse, Maria (Lollobrigida). The nurse, in turn, falls in love with Charles' ne'er-do-well nephew Anthony, (Connery) who plots ways to gain control of his uncle's fortune.
-This film, one of the earliest starring Sean Connery, has strong and alluring power of its own. The visual settings are magnificent, and Gina Lollobrigida was never more seductive or beautiful than in this motion picture. Connery shows more depth than in many of his later films--one wonders what direction his career might have taken if he had not fallen into the clutches of "Cubby" Broccoli and the whole 007 thing. Sir Ralph is, well, Sir Ralph--imperious, petulant, old school upper class damn-the-servants Brit...This film plays strongly to anyone interested in the psychological stress a crime induces in the various participants, and this is one of the many factors that separate it from the run of the mill police procedural. Finally, it has an evocative and excellent musical score--and no wonder, since Rimsky-Korsakov's Cappricio Espanol features prominently as a mood-setter. Altogether, a good rainy afternoon movie!
-So they don't make 'em like this anymore, really. Photography does wonders here. Players and story get thick into it. Gina L the very meaning of woooman...yummy thing. Story keeps you hanging on. Yes there is the Bondian flair to Sean but are we all prisoners of our being. Music, customes and editing round it out. Just a real treat from when movies were still movies not film de art or music videos.
-Wheelchair in opening (and lingering) credits. We see wheelchair as vehicle by which aged zillionaire is moved around. At end of movie, Sean Connery's cowardly, fleeing character is hit by wheelchair, and he tumbles down many stairs until he hits his head on steps and dies. A fitting ending to a nasty villain. I was hoping the uncle was really alive, playing a dastardly trick on nephew and "widow". Great performances by all actors. I was even hoping the whodunit was done by Thomas and/or his brother, as they had been so humiliated by the old buzzard, or even the yacht captain who had also been personally embarrassed. I felt that the way that old Richmond treated the servants was extremely racist and uncalled-for; I hope that this movie could not have been made today, with its decimatingly cruel treatment of persons who are not of the so-called white elite. The fitting ending, however, was that said wheelchair was sent rolling (aimed?) by one of the aforementioned servants (I am not sure which one), hitting Sean Connery as if it had been Oddjob's murderous hat from "Goldfinger".
I studied Italian in the last three years. I enjoyed listening to Gina Lollobrigida's accent and her speaking some Italian to people on the island. She had top billing in this movie. It was about HER. She looked stunning and ravishing. I was hoping that her character would tell old Richmond daily to go to hell and to stop being such a spoiled brat, as her price for marrying him. At any rate, she ended up taming him, and he ended up softening up from being a previously very evil man.
I enjoyed this movie. I realize Sean Connery wanted to play the villain this time, and he did so very well, even to the point of becoming sadistic and schizo-lunatic-psycho; you get the picture.
Writers:Catherine Arley (novel), Robert Muller (screenplay)
Gina Lollobrigida ... Maria Marcello
Sean Connery ... Anthony 'Tony' Richmond
Ralph Richardson ... Charles Richmond
Alexander Knox ... Detective Inspector Lomer
Johnny Sekka ... Thomas
Laurence Hardy ... Baynes, the butler
Peter Madden ... Yacht Captain
Danny Daniels ... Fenton
Noel Howlett ... Assistant Solicitor
Release Date:27 August 1964 (West Germany)
Also Known As:La mujer de paja
Filming Locations;Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain