Three Coins in the Fountain

I went out to Barnes and Noble and found an autographed copy of a Fannie Flagg book for seven dollars, so I had to buy it.  Later, I would browse through the record store, and I found a DVD copy of “The Night Stalker.”  Back at home, I watched “Three Coins in the Fountain,” starring Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Maggie McNamara, Louis Jourdan, and Clifton Webb.  It was one of those widescreen films with the scenery as a big attraction.  It did make Rome look beautiful and unlike what we would see in Fellini’s films.  The women were in Italy to find husbands, not the type of message people would want to see in 2017, but something like what we saw in a Marilyn Monroe movie.  It is hard to believe that such a formulaic and predictable film could have been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  There were three women, three men, and three crises.  One of the men gets fired, another faces deception, and the third has a serious health problem.  I couldn’t believe that Jourdan’s character would go on with a game with a young woman saying she loves modern art and Italian opera and piccolo playing without commenting on the weirdness of it.  Jourdan years later would be in “Swamp Thing.”  One of the characters was an American author.  I thought one of the funny scenes was his order of six double Scotches.  His thoughts of death were one of the dark moments in this light film.  I saw Dorothy McGuire recently in “Friendly Persuasion.”  She didn’t get as much of a chance to show off her talent in this picture.  I got rather tired of the women changing their minds and lying and being foolish.  Another amusing bit was the car with the brakes that didn’t work.  I wondered how they could handle driving downhill.  It would be extremely difficult to avoid accidents.  You know that if we see the Trevi Fountain at the beginning of the picture with the women tossing coins for good luck, then we are going to see the fountain at the end.  It’s irritating that things happen in this story for movie reasons rather than real reasons.  The movie did win Oscars for Original Song and Cinematography.  This was a minor movie.  I think that most people today would rather see something like “How to Marry a Millionaire.”  This movie seemed like an advertisement for travel to Europe, and an escape, and an attempt to pry people from their television sets in 1954.  Some of the people who died on April 14 include George Frideric Handel (1759), Rachel Carson (1964), Fredric March (1975), Burl Ives (1995), Ellen Corby (1999), Anthony Newley (1999), and Don Ho (2007).  Today is a birthday for Abigail Breslin (21), Adrien Brody (44), Pete Rose (76), and Loretta Lynn (85).

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