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Life in a small Mexican village where joy and misery, hope and pain, passion and guilt, love and decay, life and death are mixed in the peasants life and two French citizens who end up stranded in there, during a typhoid epidemic.
Rafael E. Portas
Víctor Manuel Mendoza
Comedy, not in the best of Alberto Sordi tradition !
By the late 1950's Italy seems to have developed the custom of going to 'White week' holidays, that is week long skiing holidays, something very popular nowadays. Alberto Sordi & Co, always ready to make fun of the latest trends in Italian society couldn't let this pass, and film was created dealing with jet setters holidaying among the the 'lower' class(that is our working class hero, Alberto Sordi), in the prestigious resort(still is) of Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Alberto Sordi's disastrous attempts to socialize with the high society provides good entertainment, but the film becomes decidingly dull, in the scenes he is absent.
The film does provide (unintentionally), a view of 1950's attitudes, like a,surprising love for drinking Whisky ! At the time Italians were hopelessly in love with anything American, so you wouldn't be caught dead ordering a glass of cool white wine in those times it was definitely , Whisky con Soda !! Thankfully in Italy nowadays, everyone is back to ordering a cool glass of white wine,beer or plain espresso at the bar!
Also the females talked about their own marriage infidelity, in the same tone as we talk about change of weather ! But this later fact, does show more of a stereotyped working class view of the upper class that the Upper class are so........ sophisticated that you(of the lesser caste), cannot speak to them for five minutes without making a total fool of yourself, with their thin ironic smile and measured polite manners they show a patronizing attitude towards you,... but of course you of the 'lesser' sort had better show the maximum respect to them, since they are after all extremely clever, and have an encyclopediatic cultural knowledge ..and of course, the Upper class know everything while we the lower class, are shameless in our ignorance.
The Upper class drink gallons of Whisky(+soda) and of course, Martini cocktails, (whatever it is ? ., but it must be sophisticated since they drink it, with an olive inside and from small champagne glasses!) . The Upper class being very intelligent, play a very intelligent game called bridge(another 1950's and 60's obsession), change lovers like pajamas, (while we working class slug it out with work and traditional family values), and in general have a jolly good time Dash it, Geeves pass me my champagne!!
If you can survive watching married noblewomen sunning themselves on the chalet terrace gentily teasing each other about past and present lovers, (what ever happened to their hubbies . , ooh yes of course they are with their own lovers .how silly and bourgeois of me !!) .and resist fast forwarding the video to the next Alberto Sordi scene, you will see a more anthropological study of how Italians would really like to live,(at least the men) but of course don't, ..it's not reality show, just very bad comedy ! My vote for the film ..6.
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