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Branded a coward for surrendering his New Mexico fort to the Confederates without firing a shot, a Union colonel attempts to redeem himself by leading a band of condemned prisoners on a suicide mission to recapture it.
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 likes him but Alberto likes Marcella; she is under age and he is awaiting her birthday to declare his love. His greater traits are to be fearful of everything and to be selfish. This nature will get him into trouble. Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Alberto a slick young man is talking with a few friends one evening and when he mentions a bomb explosion. His conversation is overheard by a police detective that happens to be passing by. Italy was going through a rough period at the time with a lot of unrest dominating everything. Immediately, Alberto becomes a marked man that will have to think twice before he speaks because with his big mouth, any wrong move will land him in jail. The strange incident will make him a suspect later on because of the precedent he set innocently, but that will be a strike against him forever.
To make matters worse, he is an Italian man still living with a couple of doting aunts that tolerate his peculiar behavior. His job is in what appears to be some sort of factory, but he works as an assistant to a woman executive in the main office. The president of the firm believes in monitoring his employees' every move. Not only that, he can spy into their conversations. This man is clearly terrorizes his employees by intimidation. Nothing can be said that he doesn't know already.
The film follows the adventures of Alberto in the office, as well as at home. Mario Monicelli also contributed to the screen treatment. Mr. Monicelli, with a long career in the Italian cinema, shows why he is one of the best in the business. Although this is in no way anything in comparison with his masterpiece, "I soliti ignoti", or "Big Deal on Madonna Street", as it was known in America, he is never boring.
Working with an excellent actor, Alberto Sordi, he makes this comedy better than it would have been under another's director helm. Mr. Sordi, a great comedian is at his best in the film. He plays tribute to another master of the Italian cinema, Alberto Lattuada, who is seen as the director of the company that employs Mr. Sordi. Also on hand, a young Bud Spencer, who will later go to fame in some memorable "spaghetti westerns", and Leopoldo Trieste, a good comedian.
This is a film seldom seen today and it's worth a look by any serious fans of Mr. Monicelli's and Mr. Sordi's.
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