On New Year's Eve, an insecure, struggling actress (Anna Magnani) has nothing to do. When a colleague invites her to a New Year's party, she jumps at the opportunity. Accidentally she runs ... See full summary »
Esposito is a thief who cons tourists in Rome. A lengthy persecution by police Bottoni, who manages to catch it starts. In an oversight Esposito manages to flee again. Bottoni superiors inform him that if no catches him will lose his job.
Alberto Menichetti lives with an aunt and an old housekeeper, Clotilde; he has a job in a firm and his boss is Mrs. De Ritis, a widow whose husband was killed during a wild boar hunt. She ... See full summary »
50 year old Giulio (Tognazzi) and his 17 year old goddaughter, Vincenzina (Muti) fall madly in love with each other and soon are wed. Unfortunately for Giulio he walks in on his friend and ... See full summary »
Based on Nikolai Gogol's story with the location changed from Russia to Italy and the time changed to the present (1952), the story is about a poor city-hall clerk (Renato Rascel) whose ... See full summary »
A Pianetta manca il medico condotto; questo fino all'arrivo del dottor Marchetti. In paese però il medico trova già installato Don Antonio, il guaritore locale che con un po' di psicologia,... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica,
Two escapees (Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell) are on the run in an unspecified but seemingly Latin-American country. Everywhere they go they are observed and hounded by a menacing black ... See full summary »
An industrialist has his wife tailed because he secretly hopes she is betraying him so that he can ask for a divorce and marry the model he's fallen in love with. This leads to a series of ... See full summary »
A dog's life...for performers in provincial theatres.
(Spoilers included) I would characterize this film as a delightful discovery for me. It is a comedy-drama about a troupe of third-string variety-act performers who tour Italy's provinces putting on shows in decrepit movie theatres.
It bears a great deal of resemblance to VARIETY LIGHTS, Fellini's first film (co-directed by Alberto Lattuada), which was made around the same time. The troupe leader, as well as singer of comedic songs, is Nino Martoni (Aldo Fabrizi) who must use every resource available to him to have his company stay afloat. And times are tough insufficient box office, mounting company debts, no money to pay performers, train fares, hotels, restaurants.
Much of the film involves the lives of three of the women performers. There's Franca (Tamara Lees) who is engaged to Carlo (Marcello Mastroianni in one of his earliest appearances). She leaves him to attempt to find fame and fortune in show business. There's Vera (Delia Scala) who finds true love during the course of the movie, and Margherita (Gina Lollobrigida) who has show business in her blood, is devoted to Martoni during good times and bad, and ends up by film's end with a first rate company. Franca, on the other hand, in marrying a rich industrialist for his money, and realizing she has lost her true love in the process, commits suicide by jumping out a window.
The cast is an incredibly good array of the Italian screen's top performers. Fabrizi's weaselly manner is a wonder to behold, and his scene with a hotel manager unwilling to accept a check in payment for the troupe's stay is a little masterpiece. Nino Rota did the nice musical score as well as providing some of the song numbers, along with Fabrizi and Mario Ruccione. They have real appeal.
Directed by Mario Monicelli and Steno (Stefano Vanzina), both major directors of comedy for many decades to follow, the movie deserves to be resurrected and shown in "commedia all'italiana" programs.
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