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Heller In Pink Tights [DVD]

3.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Margaret O'Brien, Steve Forrest, Eileen Heckart
  • Directors: George Cukor
  • Producers: Marcello Girosi, Carlo Ponti
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Aug. 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009J2QDQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,800 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Adventure drama in the 1880s of a theatrical troupe touring the West who survive bill collectors, assorted gunmen, hostile Indians a nd nature. Based on a Louis L'Amour novel.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The film starts with the bright pink wagons of the Healey Theatrical Company being chased by debt collectors and sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Sophia Loren plays Angela Rossini a role based on the real life actress Adah Isaacs Menken (1835-1868) who acted in the west during the mid 19th century and the scene in the play where Mazeppa escapes on a horse was Menken's speciality. I believe the "Heller" in the title comes from the quote that "Menken was a hellion in pink tights".

There is a love triangle between Loren, Anthony Quinn (Healey) the impresario and Steve Forrest (Mabry) a gunman. The story has a certain endearing quality but one never feels really involved with the characters nor does the action ever really excite.

Despite good acting and production values the whole film is clunky and contrived.

The main problem seems to have been Sophia Loren's husband Carlo Ponti (who was joint producer) exerting undue influence during the cutting process to accord Loren maximum screen time, resulting in the director George Cukor disowning the final cut.
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Format: DVD
Often regarded as little more than a curiosity or a footnote to George Cukor's career after he disowned the studio's cut, Heller in Pink Tights turns out to be something of a gorgeously produced delight. Following Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren's travelling theatre company as they skip from old west town to town with their creditors and/or Indians in hot pursuit, it's in many ways more period backstage comedy than comedy western. Quinn is the impresario and Loren his flighty leading lady, the rest of the troupe made up of Edmund Lowe's ageing Shakespearian ("As a young actor I used to worry about my voice holding out. Now it's my kidneys"), Eileen Heckart and Margaret O'Brien as the mother-and-daughter act, with mother constantly trying to keep her daughter a mere 16 and emphasising that she was a mere baby when she had her, and Loren in a blonde wig as the flighty leading lady. When we meet them they're already on the run for the State Line to avoid one writ after she's run up a huge tailor's bill she can't pay, and things don't get much better for them when they reach Cheyenne, the kind of town when you can shoot a man but you can't make fun of marriage in a comic opera. It's there that, trying to ensure they at least have some money when they skip town, Loren loses her entire pot in a card game with Steve Forrest's hired gun - which is doubly unfortunate, since she put herself up as part of the stake. When they do their inevitable runner, he follows to claim his prize, and the money he's owed by Ramon Navarro's businessman for killing some troublesome miners. But Navarro wants to save some money by killing Forrest and Quinn is unaware of the bet...Read more ›
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By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Jun. 2014
Format: DVD
Heller in Pink Tights is directed by George Cukor and adapted to screenplay by Walter Bernstein from the novel "Heller With a Gun" written by Louis L'Amour. It stars Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Margaret O'Brien, Steve Forrest, Eileen Heckart and Ramon Novarro. Music is by Daniele Amfitheatrof and cinematography by Harold Lipstein.

In simple terms this is Cukor trying to be clever whilst doing his only Western film. Plot basically follows The Great Healy Dramatic and Concert Company as they represent civilisation and culture coming to the Wild West. It's part spoof, part period farce but always narratively shallow. The costuming and colour lensing are sublime, undeniably, but these can't compensate for such a turgid story being performed by miscast stars.

Quinn called the picture unfortunate, Loren (looking painfully thin and sporting an unfortunate blonde mop on her head) was unhappy with the direction she received and serves solely as a clothes horse, while Cukor himself bemoaned cuts made by Paramount that further damaged what he thought was already a weak story. Receiving mixed reviews upon release, "Heller" was a box office flop, and really it's not hard to see why. Even if there's some value for Loren and Edith Head (costumes) fans. 4/10
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By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 April 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film that I have wanted to watch for some time now, and finally got around to it the other day. I had noted in the past that some respected film critics had placed this in their top 10 Western films of all time. This stirred my curiosity which was amply rewarded watching this rather oddball but hugely enjoyable film. The film was directed by the legendary George Cukor, who is perhaps best remembered for his ability to work well with actresses, the most notable being Katherine Hepburn. Cukors main preoccupation was with a love of play and theatricality. Films like "What Price Hollywood", "A Star is Born" and "Les Girls" demonstrate this. So "Heller in Pink Tights" fits nicely into this slot. Certainly this film could be seen more as a piece of theatre than a serious Western. The film was made at a time when the Western genre was still strong and many screenplays were adapted to this end. Nowadays I doubt very much that this film would be made as a Western. This is Cukors one and only foray into the genre and he brings to it a refreshing new makeover.

The screen play is apparently based on a book by the prolific Western writer Louis L'Amour whose book in turn was based on the life of Adah Menken a travelling player in the American West and a renowned beauty. In the film Anthony Quinn plays the leader of a little group of such people who are always trying to keep one step ahead of their creditors. This leads to an itinerant lifestyle. In Cheyennne a lawless wild West town they come into contact with a ruthless gunfighter played by Steve Forrest. When they are forced to flee town once again they inadvertently stray into hostile Indian territory where Forrest protects them.
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