I didn't recognize Terence Hill (here credited as Mario Girotti ,his real name,like in "Cartagine in Flamme ";it was to last till 1967);I must say his movies with Bud Spencer and co are not my cup of tea anyway.When he made "La Vena D'Ora " he was sixteen ,and it is much to Bolognini's credit ,for teenagers are generally played by actors in their twenties (see "Rebel without a cause" ).
Long before Louis Malle and his "Soufflé Au Coeur" ,with more elegance,Bolognini depicts an oedipal relationship between a mother and her only son.Not only he is still in love with her ,but she is too,and she looks so young (she is a widow) they seem like a pair of lovers.
When the movie begins ,both seem to live in a luxury mausoleum ,where only women are to be found:an old servant,an aging aristocrat who believes she's still attractive ,a rather bland young girl ...there's about as much life as in the archaeological site of professor Baseheart.
The boy invites the professor for dinner and the forty-something soon becomes a rival,more than he can endures.The center of the movie is a ball during which the boy's resentment against him knows no more bounds.
Bolognini's movies are always a delight to watch ,even if the ending of this one is a bit disappointing:the pictures in black and white are magnificent.
Bolognini was certainly ,along with Comencini,the most underrated of Italian directors.
Like this? try these....
"Un Bellissimo Novembre " (Bolognini,1968) "Brennendes Geheimnis" (Robert Siodmak,1933) "Le Soufflé Au Coeur " (Malle,1971)
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