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The Yellow Rolls-Royce

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The Yellow Rolls-Royce, starring Ingrid Bergman, Rex Harrison, George C. Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Alain Delon, Art Carney, Omar Sharif
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The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), starring Ingrid Bergman, Rex Harrison, George C. Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Alain Delon, Art Carney, Omar Sharif

Synopsis of The Yellow Rolls-Royce: The adventures of a Rolls-Royce roll across Europe in this far-flung comedy. The Marquess of Frinton purchases it as a gift for his wife. Over time, it falls into multiple owners in this anthology.

The Yellow Rolls-Royce features many assets. They include:

  • A star-studded international cast.
  • Gorgeous location photography.
  • Designer wardrobes.
  • And a catchy Golden Globe Award-winning theme song.

This melodramatic travelogue uses the classic car in this anthology. The car serves to tell the story as it changes the lives of three sets of owners. In the first episode, a British diplomat (Rex Harrison) buys the car for his French wife (Jeanne Moreau). She, however, is dallying with her husband’s colleague (Edmund Purdom) at a luxurious country estate.

Then in the second episode, an Italian-American gangster (George C. Scott) tours his ancestral homeland with his gum-chewing blonde moll (Shirley MacLaine). When he returns to America to take care of business, his girl gets involved with a handsome Italian photographer (Alain Delon), aided by her chauffeur (Art Carney).

And in the third episode, Omar Sharif teams with Ingrid Bergman in the story of a rich American widow. She uses the Rolls to help a Yugoslavian freedom fighter.

Cast of characters

  • Ingrid Bergman (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness) … Gerda Millett. An older woman, who risks her life to help an underground man.
  • Rex Harrison (The Agony and the Ecstasy) … The Marquess of Frinton. The man who married a younger woman. Who’s not faithful to him. A sad character.
  • Shirley MacLaine (The Apartment) … Mae Jenkins. The gangster’s girlfriend. She’s foolish enough to cheat on him.
  • Jeanne Moreau (Ever After) … The Marchioness of Frinton. The unfaithful wife, who’s found out.
  • George C. Scott (The Hustler) … Paolo Maltese. The American gangster, “stuck” in Europe. He buys a used Rolls-Royce for his girlfriend.
  • Omar Sharif (Doctor Zhivago) … Davich. The underground agent, helped by Gerda.
  • Alain Delon … Stefano. The young, handsome artist who befriends Mae. Then, romances her. And cheats with her on her gangster boyfriend.
  • Art Carney (The Honeymooners, Going in Style) … Joey Friedlander. The gangster’s friend and chauffeur. He knows what Mae is up to. But he can’t bring himself to tell Paolo what’s going on.
  • Joyce Grenfell … Hortense Astor
  • Edmund Purdom … Fane. The Marchioness’ lover. Who cheats with her in the Rolls-Royce that he bought for her. Young, handsome, and classless.
  • Michael Hordern … Harnsworth
  • Wally Cox (Underdog, State Fair 1962) … Ferguson

Editorial review of The Yellow Rolls-Royce courtesy of

They don’t make ’em like this anymore. This sleek, smooth-running anthology film by the writer and director of The V.I.P.s is another extravagant vehicle for a dazzling international roster of stars, whose characters’ lives are profoundly changed by the titular luxury automobile. Rex Harrison gets the show on the road as an English lord who purchases the car as an anniversary gift for his wife (Jeanne Moreau), who is having an affair with a younger member of his staff.

“Twenty thousand and twenty-three miles later” in Italy, American gangster George C. Scott buys the car for wisecracking “fidanzata” Shirley MacLaine, who becomes involved with amoral tourist photographer Alain Delon while George is away on family business.

Ingrid Bergman takes the wheel in the third story as an imperious American widow who becomes involved in Yugoslavia’s fight against the Nazis when she is forced to smuggle patriot Omar Shariff across the border. The Yellow Rolls Royce deftly handles the twists and turns of melodrama, comedy, and adventure, and this widescreen presentation does full justice to the gorgeous scenery. As one admirer of the car observes, it’s kind of old-fashioned, but it’s got class. Fans of the handsome cast members will want to go along for the ride. –Donald Liebenson

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