Queen of Hearts

Film

Comedy

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Time Out says

A winning debut for Amiel, working from a script by Tony Grisoni about the experience of Italian immigrants to London circa the '50s (although it seems to waver in period). It's told from the point of view of imaginative ten- year-old Eddie (Hawkes), son of Rosa and Danilo (Long, excellent), elopers from Central Italy (where the first section is set). It's a family affair, centering on the East End café which waiter Danilo buys after a gambling windfall. Relatives arrive; the four children quarrel and grow up; grandma grumbles about the old ways; a shining new Espresso machine arrives; a wedding is celebrated; Eddie's brother takes to crime. Then jilted Barbariccia, 'King of the Knives', to whom Rosa was promised back in Italy, arrives bent on revenge. It's a modest film, but rich in human relationships - their scams, aspirations and myths - and true to the fantastic spirit of the boy narrator. The strong cast (some of the actors unprofessional) makes up for the rough edges. It plays like a mix of Ealing kids' fantasy and a gentle, naive pastiche of The Godfather.
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Release details

UK release:

1989

Duration:

112 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Jon Amiel

Cast:

Roberto Scateni, Vittorio Amandola, Eileen Way, Anita Zagaria, Joseph Long, Vittorio Duse, Ian Hawkes

Music:

Michael Convertino

Production Designer:

Jim Clay

Editor:

Peter Boyle

Cinematography:

Mike Southon

Screenwriter:

Tony Grisoni

Producer:

John Hardy

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