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Based on a novel by Louis LAmour and full of witty exchanges and a striking visual style, the film follows a vaudeville troupe that stays one step ahead of the bill collector as it tours the frontier circa 1880. The central premise finds ringleaders Angela Rossini (Loren) and Tom Healy (Quinn) needing a more flamboyant act than normal in order to entertain the citizens of the wild West.
Heller in Pink Tights features a captivating if intriguingly awkward story born of an unusual number of powerful, creative voices behind the camera. The 1960 film's screenplay was co-written by Walter Bernstein (Fail Safe), whose blacklisting following his unfriendly testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee ended the year before with Heller star Sophia Loren's wartime romance, That Kind of Woman. The equally legendary Dudley Nichols (Stagecoach) shared writing credit; Carlo Ponti (Blow-Up), Loren's strong-minded husband, co-produced; and Hollywood Golden Age director George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story) presided over the odd, Louis L'Amour-based Western.
Loren plays Angela Rossini, leading lady in a down-on-its-luck, traveling theatrical company barely held together by founder Tom Healy (a sympathetic but largely miscast Anthony Quinn). Always staying a step ahead of creditors and lawmen, the troupe stops in a Wyoming town where a hired gunman, Mabry (Steve Forrest), "wins" the reckless Angela, who has long had a romance with Healy, in a poker game. Determined to keep her even as he eludes assassins, Mabry attaches himself to the dispirited Healy's company as it rides through dangerous Indian territory. The final act finds all the principals battling their way to a resolution behind the scenes of a play at a theater Angela has built for Tom with money she stole from Mabry. It's all a little clunky, but Cukor ensures a certain vitality in the proceedings, moves comfortably between striking shifts of comedy to intense drama, makes Loren look great, and exposes--to an unexpected degree--a psychological bond between Angela and Mabry. --Tom Keogh
very good, strange seeing sophia loren with blonde hair and anthony quinn in a western not as the bad guy.Published 2 months ago by edward coyne
I am not a fan of Sophia Loren because she doesn't really act any character except herself in every movie. Add to that a crappy script and I wonder why anyone would watch this.Published 14 months ago by Carolina Kat
Anthony Quinn and Sofia Loren were always two of my favorite actors back in the day when movies were made
with a story line you could follow. Read more
corny and even tacky role for Ms Loren and her supporting cast. Too boring for watching. Very poor plot, no beautyPublished on August 12, 2013 by Anonymous
Been looking for this dvd for a while product was in excellant shape fast shipping would buy from this vendor again!Published on August 19, 2010 by Bob
This is a very hard to find movie but should be fun for anyone who likes Sophia (for any reason). It is certainly different from other Westerns. Read morePublished on April 26, 2010 by Movie Lover
One does not usually think of Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren as western stars, but they do a superb job in this movie.Published on December 30, 2009 by Nancy A. Pearson
Haven't watched the video yet, but it arrived quickly and appears to be in great shape. sealed.
"Heller in Pink Tights" is not one of Sophia Loren's best (it's kind of boring, actually) or best-known offerings, but it's certainly worth a look, if only to see what she looks... Read morePublished on November 21, 2007 by Joseph A. Admire