Wednesday, April 09, 2014


Rarely has a movie title been more misleading. This is a remake of THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN in which three young American women spent time in Rome looking for love. The title of this version, along with the presence of three sexy 60s starlets, might indicate a high quotient of hedonistic activity, but these rich girls are actually looking for commitment rather than sheer pleasure. Carol Lynley, a secretary at a news agency, and Ann-Margret (pictured), a lounge singer and dancer, share a fabulously spacious apartment in Madrid; as the movie begins, they welcome their friend (Pamela Tiffin), the least worldly of three who is (gasp!) still a virgin. Romantic complications occur as follows: 1) Lynley is trying very hard to have an affair with her married boss (the considerably older Brian Keith), ignoring the hunky but somewhat prickly reporter (Gardner McKay, pictured below) who is clearly in love with her; 2) Ann-Margret is grazed by a hunky but shy doctor (Andre Lawrence) on a motorcycle; they strike sparks but her money comes between them; 3) Tiffin falls hard for a hunky but philandering playboy (Anthony Franciosa) who had dallied with Lynley last year; Lynley warns Tiffin about his nasty ways, but Tiffin is sure she's tamed him—until she goes to meet his family.

This isn't really a bad movie—after all, Ann-Margret dances in skimpy clothes (at least twice, her wardrobe conjures up her character in BYE BYE BIRDIE) and there are some nice shots of Madrid, and a short art history lecture in the Prado about El Greco—but it is very predictable. The only two who seem to actually engage in anything remotely scandalous are Ann-Margret and her doctor who spend one illicit night together before they decide to commit. [Spoiler (but not really): they all wind up happy with their appropriate hunky men.] All six of the lead couples are attractive, though the acting is variable; Tiffin is one-note and irritating, and Lawrence is rather bland. The apartment set is very cool—I wish they had spent more time there, though the few scenes that do take place there are marred by the running joke of a peeping Tom neighbor. There’s a weird "private weekend" middle-aged men orgy that Keith takes Tiffin to in order to finally start their affair, but Keith's wife (Gene Tierney, in her last screen role) gives Tiffin a scolding and a slap, and that's that. Contrary to some reports, this isn't really a musical. Annie does get to sing and dance a few times—the best number is "Everything Makes Music When You’re in Love" which she performs on a beach—but most of those songs are in the context of her job as a singer. Ultimately, rather ho-hum. [FMC; be sure to catch a widescreen airing]

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