It Happened In Athens (1962)

Andrew Marton had an interesting career. Sure, he made The Thin Red Line, but he also made a Soupy Sales vehicle Birds Do It and even had his name taken off the movie Demon of the Himalayas by Joseph Goebbels because he was Jewish. As for his second unit work, he filmed the iconic chariot race in Ben-Hur and the opulence of Cleopatra. He also worked in TV, making nature shows and family fare like Flipper and Daktari.

So yeah, this movie has none of what he’s known for. It does have Jayne Mansfield.

Made by Associated Producers Incorporated, but really 20th Century Fox, this was Mansfield’s last big budget film. She’s only in a supporting role, but her name was big enough to open a movie.

Fox used API to make the B movies that would support their A features. If they were anything like Cleopatra, they were bleeding the studio out.

Trax Colton is in this as well. Who? Well, after being discovered by Henry Willson, Trax was going to be a big matinee idol. He was even billed directly below Mansfield in this, his second — and last — film. He had a brief affair with his co-star and never made another movie.

He plays Spiridon Loues, a man running in a marathon where the winner gets to marry Mansfield’s character. That seems like a publicity stunt that she’d do in real life.

The story of the people who almost ended up in this movie — Ricardo Montalbán, Fernando Lamas, Robert Wagner, Dean Stockwell — and the many titles — And Seven From AmericaWinged Victory In Athens — are way more interesting than the actual movie. Then again, you can just shut the volume off and stare into space at Mansfield, I guess. I know I did.

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