Well, I’m unsure how many people would see a romantic comedy involving a 59 year old man and a 26 year old woman (unless you saw Autumn in New York awhile ago), but the romance between Clark Gable (Gone With the Wind) and Sophia Loren (El Cid) in It Started in Naples is just a little creepy for me. Especially when you consider Gable seemed to always appear in his mid-60’s.
But enough about that aspect of it, Gable plays Mike, a lawyer about to be married, who …lies to Italy to settle his recently deceased brother’s affairs. He’s surprised to find out that not only was his brother married, but he had a son named Nando (whose age I think ranges from 8 to 10, depending on who you ask). He finds Nando’s mother Lucia (Loren), and discovers that both stay out until all hours of the night, so he decides that he wants to take Nando home to America and give him the chance to succeed.
So when a movie goes to a strange Beaver-generation episode of Judging Amy and strays from “sexy, sunny fun” it’s a little unnerving. Now granted, taking into consideration the era, it’s really not so bad. Personally I’ve never been one to understand Gable’s appeal, because he doesn’t show enough emotion, but he seems to do OK here. It’s Loren who clearly is the draw in this film, and she’s worth the price of admission, that’s for sure.
Overall, it’s harmless sugar in the middle of your day, the stars hold their own, and if nothing else, the last film of Gable’s he would see (he died just after completion of 1961’s The Misfits) is a mildly nostalgic touch, despite the film’s almost sleepwalking nature.
The Dolby Mono track sounds pretty clear, and there are a couple songs in the film that sound pretty good too.
The disc is in 1.85:1 amamorphic widescreen and looks good, and the image both has visible film grain along with a vivid image reproduced through most of the movie. It’s a little dull to look at, but it’s not a huge issue.
No extras are included, and the menus are pretty straightforward too, the usual choice of playing the film, audio setup and chapter selection are your options.
Harmless fun featuring two of the more well-known actors in history, and despite a pretty bland story, it’s still cute enough, even if it may be a few minutes too long. Worth checking out for historians of Gable or Loren.