17 user 9 critic

The Black Orchid (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 19 February 1959 (Italy)
After mobsters murder her husband, Rose Bianco works long hours making artificial flowers, to support herself and her son. Some suspect that Rose's demand for a lavish lifestyle pushed her ... See full summary »


Martin Ritt


Joseph Stefano
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Sophia Loren ... Rose Bianco
Anthony Quinn ... Frank Valente
Peter Mark Richman ... Noble
Virginia Vincent ... Alma Gallo
Frank Puglia ... Henry Gallo
Jimmy Baird Jimmy Baird ... Ralph Bianco
Naomi Stevens ... Guilia Gallo
Whit Bissell ... Mr. Harmon
Robert Carricart ... Priest
Joe Di Reda ... Joe
Jack Washburn Jack Washburn ... Tony Bianco
Ina Balin ... Mary Valente
Learn more

More Like This 

The Rat Race (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An aspiring musician who arrives in New York in search of fame and fortune. He soon meets a taxi dancer, moves in with her, and before too long a romance develops.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Oakie
Black Orchid (1953)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A doctor's ex-wife dies of nicotine poison.

Director: Charles Saunders
Stars: Ronald Howard, Olga Edwardes, John Bentley
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Desperation and secret passions on a family farm lead to tragedy.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, Burl Ives
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Drama focusing on a family of Southern aristocrats who are trying to deal with the dissolution of their clan and the loss of its reputation, faith, fortunes and respect.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Yul Brynner, Joanne Woodward, Margaret Leighton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A quiet little village, and especially a pretty young woman, falls under the spell of a charming, somewhat roguish stranger who suddenly appears one day.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Stars: Siobhan McKenna, Gary Raymond, Elspeth March
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Five Yugoslav women who consorted with the German occupiers are publicly humiliated and banished by the Yugoslav partisans but they take up arms to fend for themselves.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Van Heflin, Silvana Mangano, Jeanne Moreau
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Widower Tony is trying to keep a small Miami hotel afloat while raising a 12-year-old son. He's forced to ask his harried brother Mario for help, but he'll only bail Tony out if he quits his bohemian lifestyle and marries a sensible woman.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In California, four couples who have bought homes and are neighbors face money problems, alcoholism, racism, promiscuity, and discrimination against lack of education, until a tragic event forces them to reassess their lives.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Joanne Woodward, Sheree North, Tony Randall
Certificate: Passed Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Story of theatrical troupe that travels through the Old West.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Margaret O'Brien
Madame (1961)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Catherine, an out-spoken Parisian laundress follows Napoleon's army to the battlefront to be near her Sergeant Lefevre. The couple perform a deed of heroism which abets Napoleon's victory, ... See full summary »

Director: Christian-Jaque
Stars: Sophia Loren, Robert Hossein, Renaud Mary
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Princess Olympia (Sophia Loren), despite her life status cannot resist the urge to satisfy her sexual appetites. Exiled to the countryside, Olympia falls in love with American millionaire Charlie Foster (John Gavin).

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Sophia Loren, Maurice Chevalier, John Gavin
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

On the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Native American tribe of chief Black Eagle clashes with the Mayan tribe of king Balam.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Yul Brynner, George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field


After mobsters murder her husband, Rose Bianco works long hours making artificial flowers, to support herself and her son. Some suspect that Rose's demand for a lavish lifestyle pushed her husband to a life of crime, and they blame her for his death. Widower Frank Valente is attracted to Rose, and must convince her that real love exists. He must also deal with his own daughter, who has her own reasons for opposing his marriage to Rose. Written by Molly Malloy <mailcall@intersource.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


More than a story of love... a story of life!


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Ina Balin. See more »


Frank Valente: Working at night? Even God doesn't work at night.
Rose Bianco: To make a living people do many things God doesn't do.
See more »


Featured in Biography: Sophia Loren: Actress Italian Style (1997) See more »

User Reviews

A De-glamorized Loren
12 November 2016 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

To this point in her American career, Italian actress Loren had starred mainly in big budget, Technicolor productions—e.g. Legend of the Lost, The Pride and the Passion, Boy on a Dolphin, (all 1957). Of course, such a format showed off her ample proportions for that mammary obsessed decade. I suspect this little b&w production was intended to help establish her as more than a sex goddess. And it does.

She's quite good in the de-glamorized role of an embittered working widow, Rose. Despite her resistance, she's being intensely courted by prosperous business man, Frank (Quinn). Trouble is Frank's daughter Mary (Balin), is very possessive of dad and also thinks Rose is undeserving of him. So Mary creates problems that jeopardize not only dad's engagement but also her own—to nice guy Noble (Richman). If this sounds like tangled relationships, it is, especially when Rose's delinquent son (Baird) is added to the mix.

Fortunately, the movie's well acted and directed (Ritt), which helps what turns out to be something of a soap opera. The first part comes across as mainly a character study as the hardened widow Rose fends off Frank's persistent gambits. However, once the relationships begin to spread and conflict, the screenplay takes on a more conventional tone. Also, looks like the movie was shot entirely on the Paramount lot. Thus, I expect they were able to squeeze it into her hectic schedule. Note too how subtly actress Loren expresses emotions with her eyes. That's probably something guys like me never noticed before.

Despite the obscurity in Loren's canon, the film works as an engaging showcase for the two leads, and is not without its moments.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

19 February 1959 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Den sorte orkidé See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed