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It Started in Naples

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It Started in Naples is an American romantic comedy film made by Paramount Pictures and released in August 1960. It was directed by Melville Shavelson and produced by Jack Rose from a screenplay by Suso Cecchi d'Amico based on the story by Michael Pertwee and Jack Davies. The Technicolor cinematography was by Robert Surtees. The film stars Clark Gable, Sophia Loren, Vittorio De Sica and an Italian cast. Michael Hamilton (Gable), a Philadelphia lawyer, travels to Naples, Italy only a few days before his planned wedding to settle the estate of his late brother, Joseph with Italian lawyer Vitalli (De Sica). In the opening narration he states he "was here before with the 5th US Army" in World War II. In Naples, Michael discovers that his brother had a son, nine-year-old Nando, who is being cared for by his maternal aunt Lucia (Loren), a cabaret singer. Joseph never married Nando's mother but drowned with her in a boating accident. Joseph's actual wife, whom he left in 1950, is alive in Philadelphia. Michael discovers to his dismay that his brother spent a fortune on fireworks. After seeing Nando handing out racy photos of Lucia at 2 A.M., Michael wants to enroll Nando in the American School at Rome, but Lucia wins custody of the boy. Despite the age difference, romance soon blossoms between Michael and Lucia, and he decides to stay in Italy. This was the last film to be released within Gable's lifetime (his final film, The Misfits, was released posthumously) and his last film in color. One of the highlights of the film is a tongue-in-cheek musical number by Loren called "Tu vuò fà l'americano" (You Want To Be Americano) written by famed Neapolitan composer Renato Carosone. Filmed on location in Rome, Naples and Capri, It Started in Naples was nominated for an Academy Award for its art direction (Hal Pereira, Roland Anderson, Samuel M. Comer, Arrigo Breschi). It was released to DVD in North America in 2005.
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