It Started in Naples


It Started in Naples (1960)



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Movie Info

Michael Hamilton (Clark Gable) is a Philadelphia lawyer who must travel to Naples to settle his late brother's estate. A ten year old boy is orphaned and placed in care of his Aunt Lucia (Sophia Loren). The conservative attorney tries to adjust to the carefree romantic setting and attitudes of amore in Italy. Michael and Lucia fall in love and must decide what is best for the young boy in this irreverent romantic comedy.

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Critic Reviews for It Started in Naples

All Critics (5)

There's no chemistry between Gable, who's twice as old than love interest Sophia Loren in this lukewarm, utterly predictable culture clash comedy.

Apr 24, 2012 | Rating: C | Full Review…

It's a quaint and pretty old movie, to be sure, but it's also more than a little boring.

Aug 16, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review… aimless, thoroughly predictable waste of time masquerading as a romantic comedy.

Aug 3, 2005 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

a fossil of a bygone age when comedies didn't require scatalogical humor, and romances didn't require any basis in logic

Jul 8, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for It Started in Naples


You have to forgive this movie several faults in order to enjoy it. Clark Gable, at 59, is far too old for Sophia Loren, 26. The musical numbers are weak with the exception of 'Americano', and let's face it, Loren is no Ginger Rogers. The custody battle for the child - Loren's son and Gable's nephew - is absurd to begin with, and then compounded by silly back and forth melodrama in the second half of the film. The film on the surface seems to be a loving look at Italy and Italians, but Gable's character is condescending with an annoying American arrogance, and the film as a whole is a bit patronizing. And yet, despite all that, I found it somewhat enjoyable, and certainly better than expected. Shot on location in Naples and Capri, the scenery is gorgeous and many of the shots in the streets or piazzas look authentic. Gable gets off a lot of wry one-liners in a script where the dialogue is better than events. Loren may not have the greatest dance moves, but she does show both a comedic side and a touching side in her playful relationship with her son, in addition to, well, being a knockout and all. I love the scene where Loren is sprawled out face down on the bed after a long night dancing, and her son pokes her in the behind with a meat fork in front of Gable. The supporting cast is all-Italian, and the little boy (Marietto) and the lawyer (Vittorio De Sica) turn in good performances. There are moments that seem cliché, but there are also moments that seem spontaneous, and quite true to southern Italy. Far from perfect, but enjoyable.

Antonius Block
Antonius Block

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