Never Take No for an Answer
|Never Take No for an Answer|
|Directed by||Maurice Cloche
|Produced by||Anthony Havelock-Allan|
|Written by||Maurice Cloche
|Based on||"The Small Miracle" by Paul Gallico|
|Music by||Nino Rota|
|Distributed by||British Lion Films|
|Box office||£136,628 (UK)|
Nine years old war orphan Peppino Arrigo lives in the Italian town of Assisi with his donkey, Violetta. The two are devoted to each other and make a living transporting goods for the locals. One night, Violetta falls seriously ill and Peppino runs for the vet, who, on examining her, tells Peppino that he can do nothing to save her and that she may live for only another week or two. Very worried, Peppino takes Violetta to the church of St Francis, hoping that the priests will let him take her down into the crypt to be blessed and cured at the shrine of St Francis, but the priests will not allow it. Only the Holy Father himself could give such permission. So Peppino decides to take the matter to the very top and, leaving Violetta in the loving care of a friend, he sets off alone on an eighty-mile journey to see the Pope in Rome and get that permission. But, when he finally reaches Rome, he finds to his dismay that getting inside the Vatican to see the Pope will be no mean feat. However, Peppino will not take no for an answer...
The screen play is by Paul and Pauline Gallico, adapted from Mr. Gallico's 1951 story. Produced by Anthony Havelock-Allan's Constellation Films, it was directed by Maurice Cloche and Ralph Smart, who both also received screenwriter credit. Assisting with production was Prince Alessandro Tasca di Cutò, a Sicilian aristocrat who was cousin of Giovanni di Lampedusa, author of The Leopard. Nino Rota composed the musical score. Never Take No For an Answer was released 18 December 1951 in the UK and in the U.S. the following April. In Italy it is known as Peppino e Violetta.
The film was made by the British entirely in Italy, where special permission was granted for filming to take place inside the Vatican itself. Bosley Crowther, in The New York Times, observed that the film is "particularly adroit in the way in which it works in a stunning panorama of religious buildings in Assisi and Rome". The unusual and beautiful backgrounds of Assisi and Rome were also noted by John Fitzgerald of the BBC film program Current Release. The film was BAFTA nominated for Best British Film of 1951.
A remake was produced in 1974 for the Hallmark Hall of Fame television series.
- Peppino e Violetta (1951)
- Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p498
- Crowther, Bosley. Never Take No for an Answer, New York Times, 29 April 1952
- "Revolt of an Angel", Life, June 2, 1952
- "First Years in Italy", Film Financing, Inc.
- Holmes, Su. British Television and Film Culture in the 1950s, Intellect Books, 2005 ISBN 9781841501215