29 December 2018 | clanciai
Richard Burton and Sophia Loren in Celia Johnson's and Trevor Howard's railway café.
Richard Burton is not Trevor Howard, and Sophia Loren is not Celia Johnson, and although they were two of the world's leading actors, they fall flat to the David Lean version 29 years earlier. The differences are interesting to observe. The David Lean film consists mostly of flashbacks, but there is no flashback at all here. Also there is no Rachmaninov's second piano concerto, but instead there is a very good music score by Cyril Ornadel, which saves the film, together with all the domestic natural scenes of Winchester and its countryside. John le Mesurier plays the part of the friend who drags an ideal love affair to a more banal level of "sordid squalidness", which ultimately shatters the love story. Dolly enters in the last moment to complete the destruction, but in the end we are left hanging, as doctor Harvey here has a wife, who is quite beautiful, and we can't guess the rest. What we miss most of all in this film is the very gentlemanly part of Trevor Howard, replaced by Richard Burton's more embarassed bluntness, and the very English Celia Johnson, who is replaced by Sophia Loren, who fortunately though confesses to her Italianness. It's a good film, but, like most remakes, a bleak shadow to the original, in spite of it being in colour.