Jessica (1962): Angie Dickinson Stars in Jean Negulesco Romantic Melodrama, Set in Picaresque Sicily

Angie Dickinson, a rising star after a stunning performance in the 1959 Howard Hawks Western Rio Bravo, made two romantic melodramas set in Italy, Rome Adventure, in which she played a secondary, unsympathetic character, and Jessica, in which she played the titular role.

When her husband dies in Sicily while on their honeymoon, Jessica, a nurse, decides to remain there rather than return home. She decides to become a midwife in the village of Forza d’Agro.

Young and attractive, she attracts the attention of several men there, causing the resentment of the other femmes.  The wives conspire to abstain from relations with their husbands, based on their conviction that if no babies are born, no midwife is needed. A sympathetic parish priest, Father Antonio (Frenhc star Maurice Chevalier, miscast), disapproves of their scheme.

Jessica develops a romantic interest in Edmondo Raumo (Italian heartthrob Gabriele Ferzetti) who has been a recluse since being injured during the war, though at first, he lies about his true identity, telling Jessica he is just a fisherman.

She becomes angry when the truth is disclosed and intends to leave Sicily forever. However, a villager who has been kind to her, however, is dying, and this crisis changes her mind and reunites her with Raumo.

Maurice Chevalier as Father Antonio
Angie Dickinson as Jessica
Noël-Noël as Old Crupi
Gabriele Ferzetti as Edmondo Raumo
Sylva Koscina as Nunzia Tuffi
Agnes Moorehead as Maria Lombardo
Marcel Dalio as Luigi Tuffi
Danielle De Metz as Nicolina Lombardo
Antonio Cifariello as Gianni Crupi
Kerima as Virginia Toriello