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Countess From Hong Kong
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The story concerns a beguiling Russian countess named Natascha (Sophia Loren - HOUSEBOAT), a young woman forced into prostitution in Hong Kong, when she happens to meet an American politician named Ogden Mears (Marlon Brando - A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, SUPERMAN). She stows away in his stateroom aboard a ship headed back to the States, where she belives she can escape her miserable life.
The usual battle-of-the-sexes ensues, when Natascha and Ogden are forced to spend the entire voyage together, bickering and fighting over their different opinions and tastes. But its soon evident that they are in love. Things become complicated when Ogden's icy wife (Tippi Hedren - THE BIRDS, MARNIE) joins the ship at Hawaii, while Natascha finds herself marrying Ogden's valet in order to gain an American passport!
This is a film that feels a little old-fashioned for the 1960s, but it is a rather charming and engaging romantic comedy. Perhaps the film is best-known for launching the hit single "(Love) This is My Song", made famous by Petula Clark. The movie also stars Sydney Chaplin, Patrick Cargill and Margaret Rutherford in a rather-clever cameo.
The DVD includes the trailer. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).
This DVD is part of a new series of classic releases from Universal that also include "Pillow Talk", "Send Me No Flowers", "The Thrill of It All!" and a twofer of "Man's Favorite Sport?/Strange Bedfellows".
The lead performances depend on the direction that Chaplin was able to provide. In some scenes, Brando manages to mimic Chaplin perfectly, and it works. In other scenes, he still mimics Chaplin, but the result is less effective. (As a devout Method actor, Brando repeatedly clashed with Chaplin, whose directorial style consisted of having the actors mimic his movements and delivery exactly). Sophia Loren is well-cast as the former Russian countess-turned-dance hall girl who stows away with the newly-appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia (Brando). Aside from a major error in Chaplin's script (that is, that Loren's character is supposed to have left Russia in the revolution of 1917, which would make her character quite a bit older than she is), Loren plays the role with a comic grace that is both captivating and charming. The supporting cast have their moments: Sydney Chaplin as Brando's friend and advisor, Tippi Hedren as his estranged wife, Margaret Rutherford, in a delightful cameo as an elderly passenger aboard the ocean liner, and in a particularly memorable standout performance, Patrick Cargill as Brando's valet. Cargill shows a gift for comic timing and understated delivery here that makes the viewer wish he had been given more opportunities to demonstrate his talent. He nearly walks away with every scene he's in, and remains perhaps the most memorable part of the film.
Chaplin's use of color and widescreen is appropriately understated in keeping with his style. However, it is in Chaplin's direction that we begin to see the limits of his filmmaking ability, at least in his later works.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Countess from Hong Kong is a comedy film and the last film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin and his only color film. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Desertman84
What was most funny was Marlon Brando's attempt at comedy. Otherwise it was so-so..Published 5 months ago by Frank Nechvatal
Sophia Loren and Marlon Brando in a fun sexy romp on the high seas. Marlon seemed to be playing 2 roles, one was the staunch rich diplomat which he did very well and the mushy... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Russell S
Chaplin's last film was much maligned when released in 1967 as being old fashioned and poorly produced, but time has revealed this film to be nowhere near a disaster. Read morePublished 6 months ago by dcs
Light hearted fun and comedy abound in this tale of Natascha, a White Russian "Countess" played by the beautiful Sophia Loren, who stows away in the cabin of a very, very... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Chris B
L liked this! A lot of slamming doors but real cute and the stars are superPublished 11 months ago by Peg D.
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