Bombshell on the Box – Sophia Alert!
BOY ON A DOLPHIN, Film4, Wed Feb 3, 11am and Mon Feb 8, 4.40pm
Perhaps the most well-known thing about Sophia Loren’s first American film, made in 1957, is that in one scene she had to walk in a trench so she didn’t tower over the diminutive Alan Ladd. Sophia Loren stars as Phaedra, a poor sponge diver on the lovely Greek isle of Hydra. While diving, she discovers a sunken ship full of artefacts – including a priceless, ancient, gold statue of a boy riding a dolphin, which is also said to have the magical power to grant wishes.
Phaedra and her shifty boyfriend Rhif (Jorge Mistral) enlist American archaeologist Jim Calder (Alan Ladd) to raise the treasures, but when she realises her boyfriend wants to sell to an unscrupulous art collector, Victor Parmalee (Clifton Webb), she joins forces with Calder to get to the gold, and return it to the Greek government, before Rhif and Parmalee can squirrel it way.
Directed by Jean Negulesco, of Three Coins in the Fountain fame, it’s not a classic. However Sophia is every inch the bombshell as the wet dress she swims in leaves little to the imagination. She looks stunning in a dancing scene as well, in a tight top and flowing skirt, showing off her fabulous figure at its best.