A Matter of Time (1976 film)

Infobox Film
name = A Matter of Time

caption = Original poster
director = Vincente Minnelli
producer = Samuel Z. Arkoff,
Giulio Sbarigia
writer = Maurice Druon (novel "Film of Memory")
John Gay
starring = Ingrid Bergman
Liza Minnelli
Charles Boyer
Isabella Rossellini
Fernando Rey
Tina Aumont
music = Nino Oliviero
cinematography = Geoffrey Unsworth
editing = Peter Taylor
distributor = American International Pictures
released = 1976
runtime = 97 min
country = flagicon|ItalyItaly & flagicon|USAUSA
language = English
budget =
amg_id = 1:31849
imdb_id = 0074878

"A Matter of Time" is a 1976 American/Italian fantasy film with music directed by Vincente Minnelli. The screenplay by John Gay is based on the novel "Film of Memory" by Maurice Druon. The film marked the first screen appearance for Isabella Rossellini and the last for Charles Boyer, and proved to be Minnelli's final project.

Plot synopsis

In the midst of a press conference, popular film star Nina flashes back to 1949 and her days as a chambermaid toiling in a dilapidated hotel in Rome, where she meets aging, ailing, eccentric Contessa Sanziani, once the toast of Europe, who is living out her remaining days in abject poverty. As she regales Nina with tales of her younger days, the girl imagines herself experiencing the glamorous adventures she describes.

Production notes

Cost-conscious American International Pictures executives, dismayed by filming delays and rising expenses, wrested control of the film from Vincente Minnelli. He later disowned it, and fellow director Martin Scorsese took out ads in the trade papers chastizing AIP for its treatment of the screen legend.

The film, released in Italy as "Nina", was shot on location in Rome and Venice.

John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote the songs "The Me I Haven't Met Yet" and the title tune. "Do It Again" by George Gershwin and Buddy G. DeSylva also was heard in the film.

Principal cast

*Ingrid Bergman ..... Countess Sanziani
*Liza Minnelli ..... Nina
*Charles Boyer ..... Count Sanziani
*Isabella Rossellini ..... Sister Pia
*Tina Aumont ..... Valentina
*Fernando Rey ..... Charles Van Maar

Critical reception

In his review in the "New York Times", Vincent Canby said, "It is full of glittery costumes and spectacular props. It is performed by talented, sophisticated people who adopt the faux-naif gestures of an earlier show-biz tradition, and though it is expensive, it sounds peculiarly tacky . . . the film has the air of an operetta from which the music has been removed. It's even acted that way . . . Because "A Matter of Time" has moments of real visual beauty, and because what the characters say to each other is mostly dumb, it may be a film to attend while wearing your earplugs." [ [http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9800E5D6173DE034BC4053DFB667838D669EDE "New York Times" review] ]

Roger Ebert of the "Chicago Sun-Times" called it "a fairly large disappointment as a movie, but as an occasion for reverie, it does very nicely. Once we've finally given up on the plot - a meandering and jumbled business - we're left with the opportunity to contemplate Ingrid Bergman at 60. And to contemplate Ingrid Bergman at any age is, I submit, a passable way to spend one's time . . . she possesses a radiant screen personality . . . for people who love movie romance, "A Matter of Time" must have seemed like a dream project. And yet the movie just doesn't hold together." [ [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19761015/REVIEWS/610150301/1023 "Chicago Sun-Times" review] ]

In "Time", Jay Cocks stated, "It makes for an awkward occasion: a group of gifted people working so far below their best talents that everything takes on the giddy air of a runaway charade . . . the movie could have worked with hard effort and a little magic, but something has gone terribly wrong. Director Minnelli's once wondrous alchemy turns everything to lead. The movie is disjointed, sappy, hysterical; and the actors, perhaps sensing trouble, press on with painful, overbearing desperation . . . "A Matter of Time" does not look at all like a Minnelli movie. The fastidious craftsmanship that he has through the years expended even on the lowliest undertaking is nowhere in evidence." [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,918514,00.html?promoid=googlep "Time" review] ]


External links

*imdb title|id=74878|title=A Matter of Time

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