Cinerama: The Yellow Rolls Royce

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

The Yellow Rolls Royce

By Mike Derderian

Everything is dust in the wind and such is the case with us mortals for nothing lasts forever. Even the memories that reside in the organ that we call a brain withers away and vanishes like a drop of water in an endless sea. A sea of tears, our tears in woe for the forgotten years.

I wake up every morning thanking God for an another day on this crummy yet beautiful place that we call planet Earth. As the bright yellow rays of the sun falls on my sleepy face making my eye’s twitch out of annoyance, I realize that I’m lucky to be alive. Wouldn’t you feel the same with every breath you take?

A lot of things come to one’s mind while his head is still on the pillow. One strange idea was related to our worldly possessions, I mean the things that we cherish for their sentimental value like a teddy bear that reminds us of a special person we love or a nice dress that really looks good on you. The list is quite long, however, Each person has his own special item that he or she values despite the fact that the joy it gives doesn’t last forever.

Rising from bed, I take a look at the things in my room like books, old toys and clothes that I bought throughout the years for as we live longer our worldly possessions accumulate in time and we end up with tons of stuff. What’s the purpose of buying all these stuff Knowing that one-day we will pass away to a better place?

All those things will stay on earth long after we are gone and will last longer than our ashes, just like “The Yellow Rolls Royce.”

It is a about a yellow car and its connection with the lives of the different people who purchased it. The film has three stories to tell. This technique was used in the early 50’s and late 60’s in foreign and Arabic productions; the films shoot in this Technique had either three separate stories in one or different stories that revolved around a single axis plot.

This film came out in 1964, directed by Anthony Asquith with an international cast of stars like Rex Harrison, Jean Moreau, Geaorge C. Scott, Shirly Maclaine, Alain Delon, Omar Al Sharif and Ingrid Bergman.

The opening story is about the Marquis of Frinton (Harrison) who buys the yellow car as a gift to his wife the Marchioness (Moreau) on their wedding anniversary.

A gift of love that soon turns into a symbol of treachery when the Marquis learns that his wife is using the car as a hideout to spend time with her secret lover. The deceived husband is shuttered by this discovery and decides to sell the car that he now loathes.

After a few years the car ends up in Italy and it is there that the second story begins. A Mafia killer Paolo Maltese (Scott) who likes to carry a violin case purchases the car. Is it possible that there is a machine gun instead of a delicate violin in the case! Even as the film ends we are never told about the case’s content.

During his visit to Italy, Paolo and his girlfriend Mae Jenkins (Maclaine) decide to use the yellow Rolls in their tour.  Mae doesn’t love Paolo but is using him because of her poor background. On his short arrival Paolo is summoned back to the states leaving Mae with his assistant Joey, with the absence of Paolo. Mae meets the handsome young photographer Stefano (Delon) and falls in love with him.

Their love is passionate and the car becomes their refuge from prying eyes, until their hopes of staying together for a longer time is cut short by Paolo’s return so Mae decides to break up with Stefano because he is poor and cannot look after her.

The third story takes place in Yugoslavia during WWII. The car is now owned by a sophisticated woman called Gerda Millet (Bergman) who is traveling the country as a diplomat. Everything is going well until she offers a ride for a hitchhiker, Davich (Al Sharif). It turns out that he is a rebel leader.

As they reach a German checkpoint that is searching the passing cars for rebels, Gerda decides to help Davich escape and would later help his colleagues. As the film approaches its end the car is no longer a symbol of treachery and tragic love that is distend to fail but becomes a symbol for a higher form of love and freedom depicted in the pure love that develops between Gerda and Davich.

Through this film we realize that things that were ours in the past might end up with different people in the future, who would deal with it differently, and give it a whole new meaning.

Things come and go. This is the way life works, nevertheless, it is us who add meaning to the surrounding objects for what is a book without a reader, a pen without a writer, love without a human soul and life without a companion.

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