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La cena delle beffe (1942)

This is an opera in four acts composed by Umberto Giordano . The story is set in Florence at the time of Lorenzo de'Medici recounts the rivalry between Gianneto Malespini and Neri ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Neri Chiaramontesi
Osvaldo Valenti ...
Alfredo Varelli ...
Gabriello Chiaramantesi
Memo Benassi ...
Il Tornaquinci
Piero Carnabuci ...
Elisa Cegani ...
Luisa Ferida ...
Alberto Capozzi ...
Lauro Gazzolo ...
Il Trinca
Nietta Zocchi ...
Silvio Bagolini ...
Il terzo cerusico
Aldo Silvani ...
Il premio cerusico
Umberto Sacripante ...
Il secondo cerusico


This is an opera in four acts composed by Umberto Giordano . The story is set in Florence at the time of Lorenzo de'Medici recounts the rivalry between Gianneto Malespini and Neri Chiaramantesi for the affections of the beautiful Ginerva and Gianneto's thirst for revenge over a "cruel joke" played on him by Neri and his brother Gabreillo. The joke ultimately takes Neri to murder Ginerva and by mistake his brother. The opera ends with Neri descent into madness. Written by Alma

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Drama | Romance





Release Date:

9 February 1942 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Jester's Supper  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Clara Calamai performs the first nude scene in an Italian movie, for a total of 18 frames. See more »


Featured in Splendor (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

LA CENA DELLE BEFFE (Alessandro Blasetti, 1942) ***
5 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

Another classy wartime adaptation of a popular historical piece whose title roughly translates to THE DINNER OF PRACTICAL JOKES and deals with a couple of rowdy brothers who have a penchant for bullying their fellow-men; when the younger of the two has to leave town, one of their frequent victims decides to avenge himself on the other one (played by Italian heartthrob Amedeo Nazzari - here bearing a striking resemblance to Errol Flynn) by playing a trick on him. But, what starts as a jest soon takes a serious turn and, inevitably, it all ends in tragedy...

As had been the case with both I PROMESSI SPOSI (1941) and THE IRON CROWN (1941; also directed by Blasetti), the film is stylish and handsomely mounted - though its stage origins are betrayed by being mostly filmed in interiors. Still, the highly intriguing plot - with its many twists and turns (particularly towards the ironic, even Shakespearean, finale) - keeps one compelled to watch and the performances are all quite good with the most impressive being that of Osvaldo Valenti as the slighted and revenge-seeking nobleman. The film is also notorious for being the first mainstream Italian movie to feature full topless nudity during a brief but startling scene where luminous leading lady Clara Calamai's blouse is ripped off of her by the lusty Nazzari (an action which would certainly have shocked his then legion of fans); Calamai herself achieved perhaps her greatest fame much later when she played the murderess in Dario Argento's DEEP RED (1975). Having said that, both the aforementioned I PROMESSI SPOSI and THE IRON CROWN had previously featured a discreet amount of nudity in one sequence although not by their main character...

A chilling footnote: Fascist Valenti and his then-pregnant wife Luisa Ferida (who also appears in the film as one of three alleged mistresses of Nazzari's - the other being Elisa Cegani, as with Ferida herself from THE IRON CROWN, and a very young Valentina Cortese) were executed by a group of partisans on the last day of WWII, one of whom went on to become President of Italy!

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