Interlude (1957)

"Les amants de Salzbourg"

June Allyson as Helen Banning
Keith Andes as Dr. Morley Dwyer
Frances Bergen as Gertrude Kirk
Rossano Brazzi as Tonio Fischer
Lisa Helwig as the housekeeper
Marianne Koch as Reni Fischer
Francoise Rosay as Countess Reinhart
Herman Schwedt as Henig
John Stein as Dr Stein
Jane Wyatt as Pru Stubbins

Douglas Sirk
Marshall Green (assistant director)

Dwight Taylor

James M. Cain

Inez Cocke
Franklin Coen
Daniel Fuchs

Director of Photography
William H. Daniels

Frank Skinner

Costume Design
Jay A. Morley, Jr.

Russell F. Schoengarth

Leslie I. Carey

Art Direction
Alexander Golitzen
Robert Emmet Smith

Bud Westmore

Ross Hunter for MCA/Universal Pictures

"Brazzi had just completed the final scenes of Interlude at U-I. He had just finished these scenes the day we talked and was leaving Hollywood by train for New York and then to Europe for commitments. He explained he was sailing as he doesn't like to fly. "I had a bad experience once," he said, "If I must fly for my work I do so. Once, while I was in the air, I got word one of my friends had died on a plane. Another time when a plane was to land in Rome we got off course and came down in Milan. It was very unpleasant."

Interlude is the picture Rossano Brazzi began in Munich, co-starring with June Allyson, last fall. I asked him how he got on with her: "Oh, fine," he said. "She is a kid -- that is, she looks like one, but she's a good actress. We worked hard and fast in Munich. She was not happy over there. It was raining, and no time for fun. The story is similar to Summertime. I have a wife, but in this one the wife is insane. My role is serious, but June has a way to keep everything light. I saw the picture a few days ago -- it wasn't quite finished, but I liked it. I believe June and I give something to each other that shows up in the film.

Interview with Hedda Hopper, 2/17/57


The interesting aspect of Interlude is seeing within its context the creative and artistic stepping stones that led to Rossano's first production venture: L'intrigo/Dark Purpose. Interlude drew some elements from Summertime, and L'intrigo drew elements from both. Most interesting, for a Rossano Brazzi fan, is making note of the elements he chose to use, and which ones he changed, eliminated or altered.

Rossano himself off-handedly drew the parallels between Interlude and Summertime in this interview: he plays a married man having an affair with a single American tourist: in the first, the wife is absent (separated), in the latter, the wife is insane. In L'intrigo, he once again makes use of the "mad wife" scenario, but has drawn a more definitive portrait of her madness: she is wild-eyed, obviously insane in L'intrigo; in Interlude, we are told the wife is insane but don't often see it.

In Interlude the husband (a famous composer) is painted as much the victim of her madness as she is, and in doing so is able to generate compassion from the viewer. In L'intrigo, as the protagonist (a count) he solves the issue of the mad wife by murdering her.

Most interesting is the punishment for this crime: Rossano often mentioned his unhappiness with being so often typecast in a "latin lover/aristocrat" roles. Yet for L'intrigo, which he co-produced, he willingly took on the role of a Count - something he could have changed, had he wished.

The Count, however, dies by being trapped in a physical and natural environment of his own making, an environment under restraint: water forced through a fountain, an animal trained to protect the estate. That very suggestion of death due to nature restrained and controlled could suggest his unhappiness at being restrained by his physical appearance; that is, cast time and time again in an endless cycle of counts, barons, Latin lovers, etc., based upon his outward appearance.

We may never know his thinking behind the adoption of the L'intrigo story, and how he adapted its key elements from Summertime and Interlude, but it would have been an interesting question to ask him.

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