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Movies, Television and Broadway

The Yellow Rolls-Royce

MGM 1965

The other studios said that it would be impossible for this opulent film, top heavy with international stars, not to make money at the box office. It was lavishly mounted and shot entirely abroad. But the film was internationally successful, as MGM had predicted.

This story line consists of three episodes that are tied together by successive ownership of a superb yellow Rolls Royce, which figures prominently in all stories. In episode two, I portray Mae Jenkins, girlfriend to Mafia big timer Paolo Maltese (George C. Scott) who are touring Italy together with Paolo's henchman Joey (Art Carney). In route they encounter Stefano, a handsome young photographer played by Alaine Delou.

George C. Scott was addicted to chess. Perhaps he was using it as inspiration for his character (a gangster) I don't know. I couldn't find out because he never talked. We starred together for a few months and never exchanged more than a "Good morning," if that. He was very much in character, impeccable with his lines, but he only talked to his makeup man. George would wander over to him after every camera setup to complete the chess move he must have decided on during our take.

Alaine Delon was a French heartthrob. He was prettier than most actresses I had worked with and took half the salary he could have made elsewhere in order to work with this cast in an American film. He protested angrily when studio censors threatened to snip his hot love scenes with me, which were considered too hot for the screen... at that time. He felt his romantic scenes would make him a star in the United States. They did not, although the scenes provoked the otherwise jaded Italian film crew to applaud at the end of our steamy takes.

After the picture was finished, Alaine asked me to take a drive with him in a new racecar - a formula something or other. It became a surreal experience as we drove all night, from Italy to Monaco at 110 miles per hour. He told me at the beginning of the trip not to speak, as it would break his concentration and warned me that if I did not adhere to these rules, he would stop the car and let me out. We made the journey in record time. But, I flew back to Italy via airplane.

Filming of The Yellow Royce became a lesson of silence. Alaine Delon wouldn't let me speak, George C. Scott refused to talk, and the director was hard of hearing.

About Shirley
Shirley and Alaine Delon in The Yellow Rolls-Royce
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