“There’s no excuse for many things in this world.”
When an ambassador (Marlon Brando) onboard a ship from Hong Kong to America finds a penniless and stateless stowaway countess (Sophie Loren) in his cabin, his friend (Sydney Chaplin) assists him in keeping her presence a secret — but what will happen when Brando’s wife (Tippi Hedren) shows up?
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- At Sea
- Charlie Chaplin Films
- Margaret Rutherford Films
- Marlon Brando Films
- Romantic Comedy
- Royalty and Nobility
- Sophia Loren Films
- Tippi Hedren Films
Charlie Chaplin’s final film was considered a major disappointment by most: Bosley Crowther of the New York Times absolutely crushed it in his review, referring to it as a “numbingly archaic farce” which he would love to “pretend… never occurred”, while DVD Savant describes it as “sad and unfunny”, not to mention “depressing”. Chaplin’s screenplay was based on a story written for his former wife Paulette Goddard in the 1930s, and indeed, the narrative feels better suited to a different era. With that said, Loren does her best in the title role, and I don’t think the movie falls completely flat: it moves at a reasonable pace and keeps us guessing about what will happen next. None of that is to say it’s a very good or funny picture — which it’s not. But neither is it a complete disaster.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Sophia Loren as the Countess
No, though I suppose it’s worth a look as a curiosity given its star power, both behind and in front of the camera. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.