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伯爵夫人(1967年)【コメディ映画】 A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)

監督 チャーリー・チャプリン/Director: Charlie Chaplin
出演 マーロン・ブランド、ソフィア・ローレン/Starring: Marlon Brando‚ Sophia Loren



The feud between Chaplin and Marlon Brando

When I think about it now there are a few strange things. Charlie selected Marlon Brando‚ who‚ at the time was known to be a real troublemaker that nobody would hire. Brando didn’t think he would suit comedy‚ and knowing that‚ turned down Chaplin’s offer. According to his autobiography Songs My Mother Taught Me‚ his reason for participating in the film was‚ “I wasn’t confident at comedy‚ but if the genius Chaplin said I’d be okay then perhaps I would be. He was going to draw out my natural flavour. If the film would be better for it‚ I was ready and willing.”

However‚ Brando denounced him by saying that‚“I knew that Chaplin was an unequalled sadist and a self-centred‚ stingy tyrant.”Moreover‚ although he said‚ “I respect Chaplin for being the greatest genius that mass media has produced‚” he helped break his image by saying‚“Chaplin was made up of an entanglement of pluses and minuses‚ and various other factors. In that regard‚ he’s not so different to the rest of us”.

Even Brando too‚ was okay with rubbing Chaplin the wrong way mentally. It really was the battle of two mighty rivals. This was Chaplin’s 81st film and his first colour one. He was 77 years old. It became his posthumous work and was poorly received. The only films that Chaplin didn’t star in were this one and A Woman of Paris (1923). I wonder what kind of film it would have been if he had starred and stuck to forcing his methods on others? In the past‚ there was Shintarou Katsu who resigned from his role in Akira Kurosawa’s film Kagemusha. Between Chaplin and Brando too- Chaplin’s perfectionism and Brando’s fear of nothing- it is written in Brando’s autobiography that there were some tinderbox moments.

Aboard a cruise ship traveling the world that stops at the port in Hong Kong‚ Ambassador (to Saudi Arabia) Ogden (Marlon Brando) is introduced to Natasha (Sophia Loren)‚ daughter of a Russian exile escaping her father’s old friend. Ogden is attracted to her and is surprised to see her hiding in his cabin the following day. She planned to smuggle herself in order to escape from being forced into prostitution in Hong Kong.

When Sophia Loren appears the feeling on the screen completely changes. Each time this happens the audience gets the feeling that something outrageous is about to happen. She was 33 years old. She had already won an Oscar in Two Women and established her fame. She does come across as being a little bewildered‚ but her comedic sense is top class. One more thing‚ I was surprised at how well she can swim. Come to think of it‚ she grew up on the outskirts of the seaside town‚ Naples.