The Naked Maja

  • 1959
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

Wonderful sets, gorgeous costumes, stunning photography, superior music--but none of it can overcome the dumb script, the inane direction, and the rotten acting by much of the cast. Franciosa is a poor painter, Goya, who meets Gardner, a duchess, in a local inn. They like each other immediately but she takes an imagined slight at something he's said. Later,...read more

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Wonderful sets, gorgeous costumes, stunning photography, superior music--but none of it can overcome the dumb script, the inane direction, and the rotten acting by much of the cast. Franciosa is a poor painter, Goya, who meets Gardner, a duchess, in a local inn. They like each other

immediately but she takes an imagined slight at something he's said. Later, Franciosa is made the official painter of the Spanish court, a deliberate move by Queen Padovani to stick it to Gardner, whom she dislikes. Franciosa learns of a plot by prime minister Nazzari to bring in Napoleon's troops

and tells the king, Cervi, about it. Meanwhile, Franciosa paints Gardner as a Maja (which means she is a woman of easy virtue), although she never posed for him in the nude. The Inquisitors, those spoilsports, don't much like Franciosa's liberal attitude and would like to see him boiled in olive

oil (first pressing only) but Cervi gets him off the hook. Gardner gets on the wrong side of Nazzari and he arranges to have her poisoned by a slow and painful bane. She and Franciosa get together just before she dies and the picture mercifully concludes. This bears as much resemblance to real

history as Dom DeLuise bears resemblance to a matinee idol, and one of the scenes is so derivative of Eisenstein's POTEMKIN that it is shocking. (It's the one where the soldiers push the crowd of innocent men, women, and children down a flight of stairs.) It was surprising to see a writer of

quality material like Norman Corwin involved with this nonsense.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Wonderful sets, gorgeous costumes, stunning photography, superior music--but none of it can overcome the dumb script, the inane direction, and the rotten acting by much of the cast. Franciosa is a poor painter, Goya, who meets Gardner, a duchess, in a loca… (more)

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