Arlecchino Cinema > 11:00


George Cukor
Introduced by

Pierre Eugène (Cahiers du cinéma)


Wednesday 29/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

A one-off, unique western dedicated to satirical comedy or romantic drama, Heller in Pink Tights injects into the ‘real’ setting of a changing world the fanciful and glittering atmosphere of the theatrical féerie. The filmmaker weaves subtle and delicate nuances around Sophia Loren, here in her best role as Angela Rossini, an actress with a travelling troupe, and contrasts the harshness of a land ill-suited to dreaming with the unfolding of a plot with melancholic overtones. It is a western, of course, since Cukor recreates the depiction of a small town where gunfighters shoot without mercy and people walk along dirt streets. The very choice of a group of travelling actors as the core theme reflects a deep respect for the past. Indeed, in those times, it was not uncommon to see a play performed in one city one day, and in another the day after. But immediately the realism is transcended by moments of pure poetry, for example, when Angela plays the part of Mazeppa, whose existence is almost fringed with magic, setting her outside space and time; or when wild Indians appear at the top of the hill and wave multicoloured silk veils that glisten in the sun, and rough cowboys are entranced by the elegance of a pose or by the changing reflections of a piece of fabric. In these moments, Cukor touches on the mystery of beauty and, on the rugged, rocky ground of the desert, recreates a world of exquisite, timeless grace.

Bernard Cohn in Le Western: Approches – Mythologies – Auteur – Acteurs – Filmographies, edited by Raymond Bellour, Gallimard, Paris 1993


Leggi l’approfondimento su Cinefilia Ritrovata

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo Heller with a Gun (1955) di Louis L’Amour. Scen.: Dudley Nichols, Walter Bernstein. F.: Harold Lipstein. M.: Howard Smith. Scgf.: Hal Pereira, Gene Allen. Mus.: Daniele Amfitheatrof. Int.: Sophia Loren (Angela Rossini), Anthony Quinn (Tom Healy), Margaret O’Brien (Della Southby), Steve Forrest (Clint Mabry), Eileen Heckart (Lorna Hathaway), Ramon Novarro (DeLeon), Edmund Lowe (Manfred Montague), George Matthews (Sam Pierce), Edward Binns (sceriffo Ed McClain), Warren Wade (Hodges). Prod.: Carlo Ponti, Marcello Girosi per Ponti-Girosi Productions, Paramount Pictures. 35mm. D.: 100’. Col.