Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tonight's Movie: Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Dean Martin stars in TEN THOUSAND BEDROOMS (1957), a lightweight yet likeable musical romance available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

Martin plays wealthy Ray Hunter, who visits Rome to purchase a hotel. He quickly falls for young Nina Martelli (Anna Maria Alberghetti) and proposes marriage. Nina's papa (Walter Slezak) believes she's too young to marry and insists that she can only wed after her three older sisters, Maria (Eva Bartok), Diana (Lisa Montell), and Ana (Lisa Gaye).

Ray summons two associates (John Archer and Steve Dunne) from the U.S. to Rome, who promptly fall for Ana and Diana. Ray also encourages Maria's longtime admirer Anton (Paul Henreid) to think about marrying her, but a couple of problems pop up: Ray's pilot Mike (Dewey Martin) is head over heels in love with Nina himself...and when Ray spontaneously kisses Maria, he realizes that he's engaged to the wrong sister. Will it all work out in the end? What do you think?!

The script for this film isn't as sharp as it could be despite -- or because of? -- the contributions of four writers, and it meanders a little too much in its 114 minutes. A couple lengthy sequences with Jules Munshin and Henreid could have been left on the cutting room floor to rev up the pace a bit, while at the same time I would have liked to see even more of Gaye and Montell, who are charming but seen too briefly. I especially enjoyed their short rendition of "Rock Around the Clock," which gives Gaye the chance to dance, if only for a few seconds.

The movie also could have used more music; both Dean Martin and Anna Maria Alberghetti's talents in this regard are sadly underutilized. It's a romantic comedy with some music on the side, rather than a full-blown musical.

All that said, I found TEN THOUSAND BEDROOMS congenial company. I especially enjoyed the triangle of the two Martins and Alberghetti, rooting for lovelorn Mike to win his girl and Ray to move on to someone closer to his age. The film also has some lovely location shooting, filmed by Robert Bronner. I found it a pleasant middle-of-the-road type film despite its shortcomings.

The supporting cast includes a young Dean Jones, plus Marcel Dalio and Evelyn Varden.

TEN THOUSAND BEDROOMS was directed by Richard Thorpe.

The Warner Archive DVD is a nice widescreen print of this CinemaScope film. There are no extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.


Blogger Patrick said...

Sounds like a perfect entertainment for a cold wintery day while having a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of soup! Also have considered Martin as one of my favorites.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, that's a good description! One of those nice congenial "Sunday afternoon movies" which may not be great but is pleasant company.

I like Martin too, have many CDs of his albums!

Best wishes,

11:48 PM  

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