The tactics of a vicious slumlord and greedy businessman finally drive a distraught man to commit suicide. The businessman is tried for murder and executed, and is afterward taken by demons... See full summary »
Willie Dante carries his shady history, and old-time buddies Biff and Stewart, into the operation of his legit San Francisco nightclub. Neither the cops nor the bad guys really believe he's done with the underworld however. Much humor.
The tactics of a vicious slumlord and greedy businessman finally drive a distraught man to commit suicide. The businessman is tried for murder and executed, and is afterward taken by demons to the Hell where he will spend the rest of eternity. Written by
It may not be possible to bring the Inferno to the screen: too much depends on Dante's poetry, not to mention familiarity with all of the classical and contemporary references that mean so much to the poet's journey. But the people who made this film didn't even try; instead, they gave us a version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with a little diluted Sinclair Lewis thrown in, relocated in 1920's America. Yes we do get some scenes from the Inferno, but all the drama of the original has been drained from them: the lustful appear to be merely lounging around in a reddish scene, instead of being caught up in a whirlwind, while the suicides are now thorny bushes with heads, which simply look ridiculous.
But the question remains: could we do better with modern special effects? The danger is that the effects could be too good--Bertran de Born swinging his head like a lantern, Mohammed and the other schismatics split nearly in half, suicides turned into brambles, thieves turned into lizards--leaving the impression that the Inferno is just a series of freak shows, and giving too little importance to the transformation of Dante as he journeys through Hell. Good luck to anyone who tries.
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