The Secret Of Santa Vittoria.


I went through an emotional roller coaster yesterday during and after seeing this old classic with Anthony Quinn in the lead role. I was reading an anthology of articles on India when I got quite engrossed in one particular essay on Santhara. The writer mentioned two films with scenes of attempted suicides and though it was not an attempt at suicide, he mentioned the scene in The Secret Of Santa Vittoria where a totally drunk Quinn climbs up a water tank and is unable to come down.

I had seen the film early in 1970 under very romantic conditions with my then new bride to celebrate our moving into our own proper home for the first time after our marriage. The scene that the writer mentioned, did not ring a bell though the scene in the Indian film did.

I just casually investigated to see if I could locate the scene in youtube and lo and behold I found that I could see the whole film on it!  I cancelled every other plan I had for the evening and saw the whole film again after almost half a century! And I fell for Anthony Quinn all over again. Every time I see him he had that impact on me. The other one that I now intend seeing again soon is Zorba The Greek.

Quinn’s name in the film is Bombolini and that triggered off memories of a restaurant called Bombelli’s in what was then Bombay where too I had been on a number of occasions on romantic trysts and I tried to find something about that and discovered a number of articles about the now dead and gone restaurant from writers who were as nostalgic as I am.

What would I do without such technology that takes me back to almost fifty years?