The Secret of Santa Vittoria on Blu-rayCategory: Blu-ray's and DVD's
This 1969 film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. The music is delightful. The story is cute at times and has some very funny moments with Anthony Quinn, trying to save his town from the Germans. Actually, The Secret of Santa Vittoria is more about saving the town’s wine reserves than anything. And, of course, putting one over on the Germans.
The town of Santa Vittoria is a quiet one. Grape growing and wine making is the big business in this quaint Italian town. In 1943 when Mussolini was ousted, the people began celebrating the end of the Fascist. But soon they learn the Germans will be coming to take over their town, and take their wine. They have a million bottles of wine and in no way do they want them to go to the Germans.
With Mussolini gone, the leaders of the town want no part of what is coming. They proclaim a wine seller, Bombolini (Quinn) as the new mayor and leave him with all the responsibilities. He’s a worthless man and a drunk. But unknowingly, he has what it takes to save the wine and the town. “Things are never what they seem.”
By having the people form a human conveyer from the wine storage to hidden caves and tunnels in the mountain, they secretly move most of their wine bottles over a period of a couple days, and then hide them within the tunnels. No one will be able to locate them, unless someone in town talks!
Lo and behold, the Germans arrive and discover only 300,000 bottles of wine in the town’s reserves. For the time being they think that is all there is, until the SS arrives and informs them there should be a million bottles. But where are they?
“Brave men and good wine don’t last long.” Or do they?
While this wine cover-up is going on, there are personal relationship within the town that play out.
While this is not a fabulous film, it does have loyal admirers. It’s witty and the score by Ernest Gold makes it entertaining. The 139 minutes is a bit too long. Personally, I would have liked to see this run about 2 hours. The ending is wonderful, however. Putting one over on the Nazis in the waning years of World War II is satisfying, not only for the viewers, but also for the people of Santa Vittoria who did not like their town being occupied by tyrants.
The Secret of Santa Vittoria is rated PG-13 for some sexual content and language.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
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