It Started in Naples
by Melville Shavelson


USA (New York City, Victoria & Murray Hill Theaters) - August 7, 1960 - It Started in Naples - 100'
Italy - February 1961 - La baia di Napoli
France (Paris) - February 10, 1961 - C'est arrivé à Naples
West Germany - February 24, 1961 - Es begann in Neapel
Spain - April 17, 1961
- Capri/Bahía de Nápoles - 100'
Mexico - La bahía de los ensueños -

French poster Spanish poster American poster American DVD


Michael Hamilton, an American attorney, arrives in Naples to settle several outstanding legal matters resulting from the unexpected death of one of his brothers. Once there, he learns that a woman with whom his brother had been living for some time was also killed in the car accident which cost his brother his life. The couple have left a nine-year-old son, Nando, who lives with his young aunt Lucia, an exuberant young woman full of creativity and imagination. Nando does not live a life suitable for a boy his age. He does not attend school and spends his days in activities that are not entirely commendable. Hamilton tries every means, including legal measures, to take Nando away From his environment. As the dispute continues, the attorney slowly but surely softens; his rigid preconceptions crumble, therefore decides to extend his stay to try to correct the boy’s habits and accustom him to a new way of life. But the undertaking turns out to be difficult despite the fact that giving way to a greater understanding, in which the appeal of a poor but happy existence, the beautiful environment and Lucia's grace and charm carry a certain weight. Thus, as he is about to depart in defeat, Hamilton realizes that he will no longer be able to endure the life that awaits him in America and, following his brother’s example, decides to remain in Naples, close to Lucia and Nando. (Enrico Lancia)
Story: Michael Pertwee, Jack Davies.


Naples, Capri (Italy)
Cinecittà, Rome (Italy)

Filming dates: August through October 1959


Sophia Loren (Lucia Curcio)
Clark Gable (Michael Hamilton)
Marietto Angeletti (Nando)
Vittorio De Sica (attorney Mario Venieri)
Paolo Carlini (Renzo)


Robert Surtees (VistaVision, Technicolor)
Alessandro Cicognini and Carlo Savina

Leo Coleman

Costume design:
Orsetta Nasalli-Rocca
Make-up Artist:
Franz Prehoda
Still photographer:
Pierluigi Praturlon, Robert B. Lebeck
Jack Rose for Capri Productions & Paramount Pictures


Working title: The Bay of Naples, The Bay of Capri.
Original title of the film is "American, Go Home," but it is changed in order to avoid possible issues with the State Department. The film was originally scripted for British actress Gracie Fields, then the Isle of Capri's most celebrated resident.

Sophia had originally rejected the movie but when she heard that Clark Gable was in it, she rapidly changed her mind. She has to sneak into the country to make the movie, because the Italian government is investigating her Mexican proxy marriage to Carlo Ponti who is still legally married to her former wife.

Two songs are performed by Sophia Loren in a duet with Paolo Bacilieri: "Tu vuò fà l'Americano" (Carosone - Nisa) & "Carina" (Testa – Poes).
Sophia actually faints from exhaustion on October 1st in the hectic dance scene of the first song. She is given first aid and revived with no apparent effects.

So poor was Sophia's family that even though the world-famous island of Capri lies just off the coast of Naples, Loren's first visit there was with Clark Gable for It Started in Naples.

Sophia's cachet is $ 200,000 in this movie which is a hit in America.


Sophia Loren recaptures the free and easy, tongue-in-cheek, sizzling tones of the Pizzaiola.
Gino Visentini, Il Giornale d'Italia, 18 feb 1961

"Before Gable realizes he's in love with Sophia and the easy-going Italian way of life, lots of funny, things happen spiked by songs and dances with the lovely Loren in rare form."
The Bridgeport Telegram, 18 aug 1960

"Gable and Miss Loren are extremely effective as a comedy pair. Thoroughly at home in her own surroundings Miss Loren is more voluble than ever giving a vigorous and amusing performance in the comedy, which is actually not surprising, for Miss Loren made her name in the Italian film world through comedies."
Carol McMurtry, Amarillo Globe-Times, 14 oct 1960

Gable and Miss Loren are a surprisingly effective and compatible comedy pair.

The major thing to look at is Miss Loren, and all else is background for her, strong light to put her femininity into profile.

Bosley Crowther, New York Times, 28 aug 1960

"Surprisingly anti-American at times, but a genial gesture toward Italians, the film demonstrates Miss Loren is well equipped to steal the show from Gable, that an Italian lad named Marietto can filch scenes from both and that the old master of flambouyant (sic) humor, Viltorio De Sica, outdistances them all."
Theresa Loeb Cone, Oakland Tribune, 10 oct 1960

Plenty of meat on the bone and every ounce of it choice enough to eat!
Clark Gable

"Sophia's figure makes you want to commit suicide."
Dorothy Kilgallen

Copyrights for all photos belong to their respective owners.
© Excelsior Communication - 2007-2010

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