The Black Orchid (film)

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The Black Orchid
Black Orchid 1958.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Martin Ritt
Produced by Marcello Girosi
Carlo Ponti
Screenplay by Joseph Stefano
Starring Sophia Loren
Anthony Quinn
Music by Alessandro Cicognini
Cinematography Robert Burks
Edited by Howard A. Smith
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • February 4, 1959 (1959-02-04) (Philadelphia)[1]
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[2]

The Black Orchid is a 1959 American film starring Sophia Loren and Anthony Quinn.


Rose Bianco (Sophia Loren) a florist widowed by a famous gangster, looks for happiness with widower Frank Valente (Anthony Quinn). Rose is dealing with her son Ralph in a work farm for troubled boys, while for Frank, his grown up daughter Mary (Ina Balin) takes care of everything for him. Noble and Mary love each other and are engaged, but Mary refuses to marry him because she worries about who will take care of her father. She asks Noble to marry her and stay with her in her father’s house. At the same time, however, she refuses to accept Rose as her stepmother and allow her to join the family. Before Frank’s wedding day Mary irons Frank’s clothes, cooks all the food and locks herself in her room. This leads Rose and Frank to call everything off, devastating them both.

When Rose’s son finds out, he disappointedly runs away from the work farm, leading the police to come and search for him in the house. The next day, Noble comes and sees Frank is sleeping in his chair and Mary has still confined herself in upstairs. He asks her to come out, but there is no answer. Noble decides he will drop Frank off at Rose’s house and will wait at the church for him. Frank finds out that Rose is waiting beside the telephone for news about Ralph and reveals how miserable he is, torn between her and his daughter.

Frank leaves and joins Noble in the church and Rose heads for Frank’s house to confront Mary. Her son comes to the church, hoping to see his mother one last time before they send him to reform school. Frank and Noble bring him back to the farm and manage an agreement with the boarding manager, Mr. Harmon. On the other hand, thinking herself alone in the house, Mary unlocks the door and comes out of the room. There she meets Rose, who has decided to try to help Frank find happiness, even if it is not with her. Rose argues her point with Mary and makes her understand Rose's love for her father, and finally Mary accepts her, asking her to stay for coffee. Frank, Rose, Noble, and Mary have breakfast together. In the end, Rose and Frank take Ralph out of the work farm and the three happily walk toward the horizon.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Black Orchid". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  2. ^ "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34

External links[edit]