Combustible Celluloid
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With: Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Tippi Hedren, Patrick Cargill, Sydney Chaplin, Geraldine Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin
Written by: Charles Chaplin
Directed by: Charles Chaplin
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 108
Date: 01/05/1967

A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Sea Legs

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Universal has released Charles Chaplin's much maligned,but ultimately lovely, last film A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), his first in color. Marlon Brando plays a wealthyAmerican diplomat aboard a cruise ship which docks in Hong Kong. Acountess (Sophia Loren) comes aboard and smuggles herself in Brando'scloset. Brando spends the rest of the film trying to hide her and avoidthe press; almost the entire 2-hour film takes place in his majesticstateroom. Chaplin directs with his usual grace, favoring long shots andcomedy at a distance. He also provided the sweet, sentimental score andappears in a small cameo as a seasick steward. Tippi Hedren co-stars asBrando's almost-divorced wife, and a young, adorable Geraldine Chaplinhas one line in a ballroom scene. Brando reportedly did not get alongwith Chaplin, and most critics used that as fodder for panning the film,though the conflict does not show in the final product.

DVD Details: Universal has provided a lovely DVD with crisp, beautiful color and a widescreen transfer. The disc comes with a trailer that features footage from the famous 1967 press conference.

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