Boy on a Dolphin (1957)

111 or 113 mins | Romance | April 1957

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HISTORY

The film opens with a montage of scenic views of the Greek Islands, which ends with an undersea shot off the island of Hydra. According to a May 1955 HR news item, Alec Coppel was initially signed to write a screenplay for this film. By Nov 1955, a DV news item noted that Leon Uris was to write the screenplay, which Henry Koster would direct. The extent of Coppel's and Uris' contribution to the completed script has not been determined, however. Although an Oct 1956 HR news item places Antonio Ciarramela and Paris Pappis in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       According to materials contained in the Charles G. Clarke Collection at the AMPAS Library, location shooting for the film took place on the Greek islands of Mykonos, Rhodes, Delos and Sonterrini. Other locations included the Parthenon and the Amphitheatre in Athens, Delphi, Corinth and the Meteora Monastery. Interiors were shot at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. The Clarke Collection adds that the film was produced using funds frozen by the Italian government. According to a May 1957 article in AmCin , filming began at Hydra, where two Greek landing barges were hired to transport the cameras and generators. The studio planned to shoot the picture in 55 millimeter until it decided that it would prove too difficult to transport the bulky equipment through the rugged terrain.
       This picture marked Sophia Loren's American screen debut and was the initial production of her four-picture deal with Fox. Director Jean Negulesco, cameraman Milton Krasner and actor Clifton Webb had worked together ... More Less

The film opens with a montage of scenic views of the Greek Islands, which ends with an undersea shot off the island of Hydra. According to a May 1955 HR news item, Alec Coppel was initially signed to write a screenplay for this film. By Nov 1955, a DV news item noted that Leon Uris was to write the screenplay, which Henry Koster would direct. The extent of Coppel's and Uris' contribution to the completed script has not been determined, however. Although an Oct 1956 HR news item places Antonio Ciarramela and Paris Pappis in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       According to materials contained in the Charles G. Clarke Collection at the AMPAS Library, location shooting for the film took place on the Greek islands of Mykonos, Rhodes, Delos and Sonterrini. Other locations included the Parthenon and the Amphitheatre in Athens, Delphi, Corinth and the Meteora Monastery. Interiors were shot at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. The Clarke Collection adds that the film was produced using funds frozen by the Italian government. According to a May 1957 article in AmCin , filming began at Hydra, where two Greek landing barges were hired to transport the cameras and generators. The studio planned to shoot the picture in 55 millimeter until it decided that it would prove too difficult to transport the bulky equipment through the rugged terrain.
       This picture marked Sophia Loren's American screen debut and was the initial production of her four-picture deal with Fox. Director Jean Negulesco, cameraman Milton Krasner and actor Clifton Webb had worked together previously in Rome on the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain (see below). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
May 57
p. 299, 323-24.
Box Office
20 Apr 1957.
---
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1955.
---
Daily Variety
11 Apr 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Apr 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 55
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 55
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 56
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 56
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 56
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 56
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 56
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 56
p. 34.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 57
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 57
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Apr 57
p. 337.
New York Times
20 Apr 57
p. 21.
Variety
17 Apr 57
p.6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Exec cost des
Ward dir
Ward dir
MUSIC
Dir of "Panegyris," Greek Folk Dances and Songs S
Artistic mus dir of "Panegyris," Greek Folk Dances
Mus cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Choreography for "Panegyris," Greek Folk Dances an
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Boy on a Dolphin by David Divine (London, 1955).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Boy on a Dolphin," based on Tinafto music by Tanis Moranis, Greek text by J. Fermanglou, American lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, music adapted by Hugh Friedhofer.
DETAILS
Release Date:
April 1957
Premiere Information:
World premiere in San Francisco and New York: 10 April 1957
Production Date:
late September-- late December 1956 at Cinecittà Studios, Rome and Greece
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
17 April 1957
Copyright Number:
LP8257
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
111 or 113
Countries:
Italy, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Off the Greek island of Hydra in the Aegean Sea, Phaedra, a beautiful peasant girl who tends the village windmill, dives for sponges with her belligerent boyfriend Rhif. Although Rhif makes empty promises to Phaedra about providing her with financial security, Phaedra's true concern is the welfare of her younger brother Niko. While prowling the undersea terrain one day, Phaedra spots a statue of a boy on a dolphin, which is tied to the mast of a sunken ship. As she swims closer to investigate, Phaedra cuts her leg on a clump of spiny coral, and Rhif takes her to the town's besotted physician, Dr. Hawkins. After extracting a nail from her wound, the doctor dismisses Phaedra's report about an undersea statue as an hallucination. The next day, however, Hawkins visits Phaedra, unfurls a drawing of the statue and exclaims that the nail he extracted from her wound belongs to an ancient vessel that sank thousands of years earlier. Sensing profits, Rhif sends Phaedra to Athens in hopes of interesting some wealthy Americans in the statue. At the Parthenon, Phaedra shows the drawing to American archaeologist James Calder. Wary of peasants claiming to have found lost treasure, Calder turns her away. Phaedra then meets Victor Parmalee, an imperious opportunist who has made his fortune in stolen antiquities. After fruitlessly trying to interest other archaeologists in the statue, Phaedra returns to the earnest Calder, who, recognizing the drawing as a mosaic found on the island of Delos, arranges to meet Phaedra later that evening at an outdoor café. Phaedra arrives early for the meeting, and is refused service because she is unescorted. ... +


Off the Greek island of Hydra in the Aegean Sea, Phaedra, a beautiful peasant girl who tends the village windmill, dives for sponges with her belligerent boyfriend Rhif. Although Rhif makes empty promises to Phaedra about providing her with financial security, Phaedra's true concern is the welfare of her younger brother Niko. While prowling the undersea terrain one day, Phaedra spots a statue of a boy on a dolphin, which is tied to the mast of a sunken ship. As she swims closer to investigate, Phaedra cuts her leg on a clump of spiny coral, and Rhif takes her to the town's besotted physician, Dr. Hawkins. After extracting a nail from her wound, the doctor dismisses Phaedra's report about an undersea statue as an hallucination. The next day, however, Hawkins visits Phaedra, unfurls a drawing of the statue and exclaims that the nail he extracted from her wound belongs to an ancient vessel that sank thousands of years earlier. Sensing profits, Rhif sends Phaedra to Athens in hopes of interesting some wealthy Americans in the statue. At the Parthenon, Phaedra shows the drawing to American archaeologist James Calder. Wary of peasants claiming to have found lost treasure, Calder turns her away. Phaedra then meets Victor Parmalee, an imperious opportunist who has made his fortune in stolen antiquities. After fruitlessly trying to interest other archaeologists in the statue, Phaedra returns to the earnest Calder, who, recognizing the drawing as a mosaic found on the island of Delos, arranges to meet Phaedra later that evening at an outdoor café. Phaedra arrives early for the meeting, and is refused service because she is unescorted. Seeing Parmalee seated at a nearby table, Phaedra insists on joining him. When Parmalee learns that Phaedra is to meet Calder, his rival, he tricks her into accompanying him to his yacht. After instructing his crew to hold Phaedra prisoner until he can determine the statue's authenticity, Parmalee travels to Meteora, an isolated monastery perched upon a mountain precipice, the repository of an archive of rare manuscripts detailing the history of Greece. Upon arriving, Parmalee is surprised to see Calder seated at a table, researching the history of a statue of a gold boy seated upon a bronze dolphin. After Calder warns Parmalee that it is illegal to remove antiquities from Greece, Parmalee returns to his yacht, woos Phaedra with promises of riches and sails back to Hydra with her. Upon reaching the island, Parmalee drops anchor at a secluded cove and sends Phaedra ashore, instructing her to set a marker at the site of the statue. Calder has also landed on the island, and to avoid him, Rhif, Phaedra and Hawkins furtively sneak out to Parmalee's yacht. When he discovers that Calder is on the island, Parmalee instructs Phaedra to lead him on an unsuccesful search for the statue. Two weeks later, Niko, who has befriended Calder, points out Parmalee's yacht docked in Smuggler's Cove, and Calder realizes that Phaedra is in league with Parmalee. That night, Calder coldly informs Phaedra that he has acquired a scientific device that will help him locate the statue. Alerted by Phaedra, Parmalee directs her to remove the statue from the ship's hull and conceal it in a nearby grotto. The next morning, Phaedra is awakened by Calder, who confesses he will miss her and tenderly kisses her on the shoulder. Confused because she is falling in love with Calder, Phaedra goes to the church to pray for guidance. That night, a self-important Rhif orders Phaedra to distract Calder at the tavern while he removes the statue from the grotto and delivers it to Parmalee. When Niko informs Calder that the yacht has sailed, Calder rushes out of the tavern, followed by Phaedra. After Calder accuses her of stealing from her own people, Phaedra responds that as a rich American, he is incapable of comprehending the desperate life of the Greek peasants. Phaedra then breaks down in tears, and after they embrace, she offers to take him to the statue in the morning. The next day, they discover that the statue has disappeared, and Calder curses himself for allowing his feelings to compromise his mission. Later, Rhif slaps Phaedra unconscious and ties her up aboard his boat. At the harbor, meanwhile, Calder meets an agent of the Greek government, who informs him that he has been following Parmalee and intends to retrieve the statue. Meanwhile, Phaedra, a captive on Rhif's boat, spies Niko hiding in the hills above the harbor and signals him that the statue is suspended under the boat, secured by ropes. Niko runs to tell the doctor, and Hawkins quickly sobers up and takes charge. Just as Rhif approaches Parmalee's yacht to deliver the statue, the government boat pulls alongside and the agent informs Parmalee that he is under arrest. When they discover that the ropes have been cut, thus liberating the statue, Phaedra smiles and Parmalee admits defeat and sets sail for Monte Carlo. The government boat then transports Calder, Phaedra and Rhif back to town, but when they reach the harbor, it is deserted. Just then, the cannon at the old fort booms, and the fishing fleet, led by Niko, sails in, proudly bearing the statue. When Phaedra quietly walks away, Calder chases and tackles her, and she then smiles and kisses him. +

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

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