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Priceless Beauty

Priceless Beauty title card

Year - 1988
Studio - Gruppo Bem a, Reteitalia, Republic Pictures Home Video
Stars - Christopher Lambert, Diane Lane, Francesco Quinn, Claudia Ohana
Director - Charles Finch
Writing Credits - Charles Finch
Music - Danny B. Besquet

Synopsis

Monroe (Christopher Lambert) is a famous musician, but when his brother dies in a fiery, suicidal motorcycle crash, he becomes almost catatonic with depression and refuses to perform any more. As he lies on the beach, bemoaning his unhappy existence, he sees what appears to be a person drowning, and swims out to rescue the victim. But, instead, he finds an ancient vase bobbing around in the waves, and brings it to his beach home.

One night, as he stares at the vase, it begins glowing and a beautiful girl materializes. She says her name is "China" and Monroe sarcastically asks "Do I get three wishes?" She responds "Yes, how did you know?" China (Diane Lane) shows immediate affection for Monroe, and tries to get him to get over his depression and return her love.

Priceless Beauty poster

The genii reads Monroe's thoughts and fulfills what she believes is his dream, for his first wish. He awakes to find himself in a fully equipped music studio, where he can resume his career. But he angrily chastises China, screaming that that is all in the past for him. China second wish-fulfillment is equally unappreciated - believing that he wants his own "castle that cannot be destroyed by the waves" she buys the beach and has builders began constructing such a castle there.

When she understands that Monroe is still desperately guilty over his brother's suicide, she has the brother appear to Monroe, who chastises him for not moving on with his life.

Still distraught, however, Monroe lashes out at China, telling her to go back where she came from. He immediately regrets his outburst, but she responds, "Your wish is my command." She dies, and he returns the vase to the sea, and attempts to drown himself. But, after washing up back on the beach, he's revived by a young woman, who says her name is Anna; she is identical in appearance to China.

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Priceless Beauty has an interesting pedigree. Christopher Lambert and Diane Lane were married to each other when it was made; the writer/director was the son of actor Peter Finch, and a supporting role was played by Anthony Quinn's son. While the purpose of this site is to identify and describe, not to evaluate films blanc, the movie, to this viewer, is largely unsuccessful, with an overwrought script and a scenery-chewing performance by Lambert.