Picked up the DVD of this in a street market in Rome last week. It's an odd bit of flotsam from a golden era of Italian film making. The story is absurd, but it has its moments, though they are brief. Breathtaking is the long rooftop scan of the sparkling new Stazione Termini in Rome, you can see they hadn't even finished the landscaping on the Via Marsala side yet. Another wonderful moment (or two) comes in the latter part of the film, in the bar/nightclub, with covers of two romantic 50s American pop songs, sung in Italian by Tony Dallara, a terrifically expressive tenor. Never liked this music, but boy, does he sell it! This films seems to have survived largely because it was the screen debut of Elke Sommer. But in my opinion she gives little or no indication or reason here for her future success. On the other hand, the late Isabelle Corey is radiant, at 20 she is oh-so much more grown up than in "Bob le Flambeur" from 4 years earlier. She is not on screen nearly enough, she disappears for the middle three acts of the film.(I admit, I am a Corey fan, and it was her name on the DVD jacket that caught my attention.) What a shame her career never took off. The tiny cameo roles are a lot fun, too, especially the deaf jukebox technician (Italian directors seem to have specialized in this little generic quirk.) And Walter Chiari was a name I had never heard before. He becomes more likable as the film progresses, perhaps because he gradually seems less and less insane compared to the misfits and losers surrounding him. Chiari was an ex-welterweight champ from Lombardy, and by the end of the film you're glad he and Corey can have each other over the objections of her pompous, philandering uncle. Worth a look.
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