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HISTORY

On 4 Jun 1963, DV announced that producer Anatole De Grunwald and screenwriter Terence Rattigan had boarded a project at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) titled The Yellow Rolls-Royce. According to an article in the 31 May 1964 NYT, De Grunwald first developed the episodic story idea from a few pages of typescript he had purchased years earlier, which he shared with Rattigan, a longtime collaborator. Although items in the 21 Nov 1963 and 19 Mar 1964 DV indicated that Rod Taylor and Marcello Mastroianni were once attached to star, De Grunwald claimed he and Rattigan specially tailored the script for most of the actors that appeared in the picture. A 31 Mar 1964 DV brief revealed Shirley MacLaine received a salary of $500,000.
       Principal photography began 6 Apr 1964, as stated in a 17 Apr 1964 DV production chart. Studio work was completed at MGM British Studios in Borehamwood, England, outside London. The 22 Apr 1964 Var noted that The Yellow Rolls-Royce kicked off the studio’s biggest U.K. production deal, with $20—$25 million worth of projects set to film there that year. Several contemporary sources indicated that the first and third episodes were shot first; an article in the 12 Aug 1964 Var stated that the episode featuring Ingrid Bergman and Omar Sharif included ten days in the Austrian mountains near the border of Yugoslavia. Location scenes for the second episode starring MacLaine, George C. Scott, and Alain Delon were filmed in Pisa and Florence, Italy, according to the 7 Jul 1964 LAT. The unit remained there for just over ... More Less

On 4 Jun 1963, DV announced that producer Anatole De Grunwald and screenwriter Terence Rattigan had boarded a project at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) titled The Yellow Rolls-Royce. According to an article in the 31 May 1964 NYT, De Grunwald first developed the episodic story idea from a few pages of typescript he had purchased years earlier, which he shared with Rattigan, a longtime collaborator. Although items in the 21 Nov 1963 and 19 Mar 1964 DV indicated that Rod Taylor and Marcello Mastroianni were once attached to star, De Grunwald claimed he and Rattigan specially tailored the script for most of the actors that appeared in the picture. A 31 Mar 1964 DV brief revealed Shirley MacLaine received a salary of $500,000.
       Principal photography began 6 Apr 1964, as stated in a 17 Apr 1964 DV production chart. Studio work was completed at MGM British Studios in Borehamwood, England, outside London. The 22 Apr 1964 Var noted that The Yellow Rolls-Royce kicked off the studio’s biggest U.K. production deal, with $20—$25 million worth of projects set to film there that year. Several contemporary sources indicated that the first and third episodes were shot first; an article in the 12 Aug 1964 Var stated that the episode featuring Ingrid Bergman and Omar Sharif included ten days in the Austrian mountains near the border of Yugoslavia. Location scenes for the second episode starring MacLaine, George C. Scott, and Alain Delon were filmed in Pisa and Florence, Italy, according to the 7 Jul 1964 LAT. The unit remained there for just over a week, and crew often worked thirteen-hour days. 24 Jun 1964 and 8 Jul 1964 DV casting items revealed that Barbara Werle also appeared in this episode.
       Although cast work was completed on 7 Aug 1964, a 28 Oct 1964 Var brief announced that the titular Rolls-Royce had been shipped to New York City for additional photography on the city docks. According to the 31 May 1964 NYT, Dunlop Tyres provided original 1930s molds so the art department could specially cast a set of tires to match the make and model of the car. A double was also provided, with removable sections that allowed the filmmakers to shoot interiors and details.
       The film was purportedly finished on schedule and on budget, although the 12 Aug 1964 and 1 Sep 1965 Var listed different negative costs of $3.5 million and $3.9 million.
       An obituary published in the 22 Apr 1964 Var reported that actor Harold Scott died in London during production. The Yellow Rolls-Royce marked his final feature film appearance. The 28 Oct 1964 edition also announced that the picture marked the onscreen debut of restaurant host Vincent Sardi (of the famous New York City eatery, Sardi’s), who played a chauffeur.
       According to a 25 Nov 1964 Var news item, the world premiere was scheduled to take place 30 Dec 1964 at the Empire Theatre in London, with proceeds benefitting the British Newspaper Press Fund. The following spring, the 3 Mar 1965 Var reported that the car used in the picture would be displayed at the International Automobile Show in New York City ahead of the film’s upcoming U.S. debut. The Yellow Rolls-Royce opened 13 May 1965 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, and 28 May 1965 at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Ticket sales were generally good, as the 21 Jul 1965 Var claimed that despite its continued popularity, MGM was eventually forced to pull the film from the Music Hall after more than two months to make room for The Sandpiper (1965, see entry). The 1 Sep 1965 Var listed a box-office gross of $10 million to date.
       Riz Ortolani and Norman Newell’s song “Forget Domani” received a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. Ortolani was also nominated for Best Original Score – Motion Picture. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Jun 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1963
p. 1.
Daily Variety
19 Mar 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
31 Mar 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1964
p. 6.
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1964
p. 22.
Daily Variety
7 Jan 1965
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
7 Jul 1964
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
23 May 1965
Section O, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
23 May 1965
Section O, p. 17.
New York Times
31 May 1964
Section X, p. 7.
New York Times
14 May 1965
p. 42.
Variety
22 Apr 1964
p. 100.
Variety
22 Apr 1964
p. 151.
Variety
27 May 1964
p. 19.
Variety
15 Jul 1964
p. 13.
Variety
12 Aug 1964
p. 3, 18.
Variety
28 Oct 1964
p. 20.
Variety
25 Nov 1964
p. 24.
Variety
3 Mar 1965
p. 26.
Variety
21 Jul 1965
p. 26.
Variety
1 Sep 1965
p. 5.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
2nd unit photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir (British seq)
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Art dir (European sequence)
Art dir (European sequence)
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Miss Bergman's ward
Miss Maclaine's ward
Miss Moreau's ward
Mr. Scott's ward
Other cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
SOUND
Rec supv
Dub mix
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
Miss Bergman's hairstyles
Miss Maclaine's hairstyles
Miss Moreau's hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Forget Domani," words and music by Riz Ortolani and Norman Newell, sung by Katyna Ranieri.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Yellow Rolls Royce
Release Date:
13 May 1965
Premiere Information:
London premiere: 30 Dec 1964; New York opening: 13 May 1965; Los Angeles opening: 28 May 1965
Production Date:
6 Apr--7 Aug 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Anatole de Grunwald Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29638
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
121
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

FIRST EPISODE: The Marquess of Frinton buys a yellow Rolls-Royce for his wife as an anniversary gift and presents it to her at their dinner party. At Ascot Heath, the marquess' horse wins the gold cup, but the marchioness disappears. Lady St. Simeon informs him that his wife is having an affair, and the marquess finds her with her lover in the back seat of the Rolls-Royce. Unable to divorce his wife because of his position in the Foreign Office, the marquess sells the car instead. SECOND EPISODE: The next owner of the Rolls is American gangster Paolo Maltese, who purchases the car while he and his moll, Mae Jenkins, are vacationing in Italy. Mae is bored with the trip, and when Paolo returns to the States on business, she has an affair with Stefano, a handsome young photographer. Realizing that Stefano would be in danger if Paolo should return, Mae foregoes her love for Stefano and returns to her gangster life. THIRD EPISODE: Mrs. Gerda Millett, a wealthy American widow traveling to Yugoslavia with her dowdy companion, Miss Hortense Astor, whimsically purchases the yellow Rolls-Royce, intending to drive it to a party given by royalty. En route she is stopped by Yugoslav patriot Davich, who persuades her to smuggle him across the border to escape a Nazi attack. Mrs. Millett undertakes this task without enthusiasm until the Nazis bomb her hotel; she then joins the patriots and risks her life to aid their cause. Once again, the back seat of the Rolls-Royce is the setting when Davich makes love with Mrs. Millett, but he then sends her back to Miss ... +


FIRST EPISODE: The Marquess of Frinton buys a yellow Rolls-Royce for his wife as an anniversary gift and presents it to her at their dinner party. At Ascot Heath, the marquess' horse wins the gold cup, but the marchioness disappears. Lady St. Simeon informs him that his wife is having an affair, and the marquess finds her with her lover in the back seat of the Rolls-Royce. Unable to divorce his wife because of his position in the Foreign Office, the marquess sells the car instead. SECOND EPISODE: The next owner of the Rolls is American gangster Paolo Maltese, who purchases the car while he and his moll, Mae Jenkins, are vacationing in Italy. Mae is bored with the trip, and when Paolo returns to the States on business, she has an affair with Stefano, a handsome young photographer. Realizing that Stefano would be in danger if Paolo should return, Mae foregoes her love for Stefano and returns to her gangster life. THIRD EPISODE: Mrs. Gerda Millett, a wealthy American widow traveling to Yugoslavia with her dowdy companion, Miss Hortense Astor, whimsically purchases the yellow Rolls-Royce, intending to drive it to a party given by royalty. En route she is stopped by Yugoslav patriot Davich, who persuades her to smuggle him across the border to escape a Nazi attack. Mrs. Millett undertakes this task without enthusiasm until the Nazis bomb her hotel; she then joins the patriots and risks her life to aid their cause. Once again, the back seat of the Rolls-Royce is the setting when Davich makes love with Mrs. Millett, but he then sends her back to Miss Hortense. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.