Plot: What’s it about?
Princess Olympia (Sophia Loren) is a royal by blood, but she doesn’t always behave as if she is part of such a royal bloodline. After all, the royals should have discipline and control, but she has become known for her more out of control behavior. She has been in more than one scandal, which has landed her in hot water with her aristocratic parents. So now she is in exile from the lush family palace and her lone chance at redemption seems to be a royal romance. Her mother wishes for her to marry a Prince and in the process, hopes that she will become more like the royal lady she should be. But as usual, Olympia manages to go against her mother and she falls for an American, Charlie Foster (John Gavin). This choice is not agreeable to her mother, but her father has given the young man his approval. But will this new romance prove to be the start of a new turn, or will Olympia simply further separate herself from her royal roots?
Of all the beauties that have graced the silver screen, few could hold a candle to the incredible Sophia Loren in her prime. That is quite a statement, but Loren was magical at her peak and she could make even the worst movie tolerable. A lot of actresses are beautiful, but to truly captivate the audience with your presence, that is much more rare. In the case of A Breath of Scandal, it is good news that Loren is present, as she is one of very few positive elements. A solid collection of talent surrounds her, including John Gavin, Angela Lansbury, and Maurice Chevalier, but the material never puts the talent to proper use. I still wouldn’t call A Breath of Scandal a total waste of time, as Loren is magnificent and her presence alone adds worth. So see it to bask in Loren’s beauty, but a rental should more than suffice.
Video: How does it look?
A Breath of Scandal is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I found the image here to be solid, but not quite as impressive as some material from the era, though still more than acceptable in all respects. I did notice some color issues, but these weren’t too serious by any means. I also saw some flaws in the contrast, but again nothing too extreme and as such, I can’t complain all that much. The print looks good, aside from some mild grain in some scenes, leaving me to score this as a solid, but flawed visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
The mono track found here is stable and acceptable, but it has some signs of wear and never does much to impress. I don’t think anyone will be all that let down by the audio, but by the same token, I doubt rave reviews will be heard throughout the home video world. The toll of time is evident, as the audio is sometimes thin, but I found the basics to be in order and while the musical numbers aren’t as good as I’d like, most of the elements are solid enough. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes no bonus materials.