...And Suddenly It's Murder! (1960) Poster

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Another coincidence? Let's hope it's the last one
petra_ste27 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Seven Italians - Remo (Vittorio Gassman), Marina (Silvana Mangano), Quirino (Nino Manfredi), Giovanna (Franca Valeri) and Alberto (Alberto Sordi) - are arrested in Montecarlo for the murder of a rich woman. Quirino and Giovanna were found near the crime scene with the victim's dog; Marina and Remo had the corpse in their suitcase; Alberto had met them all the previous night and held a grudge against the victim. A local inspector (Bernard Blier) investigates.

Performances by the all-star cast elevate the movie. These seven giants of Italian comedy play the wretched imbeciles who become accidentally involved in the investigation, and yet, as they clumsily lie out of fear of the police, see an incredible amount of clues against them piling up. Sordi, Gassman and Manfredi are particularly brilliant. French character actor Blier (seen as Sordi's memorably awkward sidekick in Riusciranno i Nostri Eroi) plays the inspector.

Very enjoyable.

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All-star Italian inversion of the whodunnit
melvelvit-112 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Three Italian couples cross paths on a train to Monte Carlo and later find themselves implicated in the murder of a rich old woman. Although innocent, the more they lie and try to alibi -rather than simply tell the truth- the more they incriminate themselves...

This all-star Italian farce is really just a showcase for the comedic talents of Alberto Sordi, Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman, and Silvana Mangano. Manfredi and his wife travel to Monte Carlo to return a lost dog to its dowager owner and stumble upon her body; they flee but leave their suitcase behind. Gassman and Mangano play beauticians hoping to hit it big at roulette so they can open their own salon but lose their stake and steal Manfredi's suitcase which now contains the old lady's corpse. Alberto Sordi, a professional gambler who teams up with amateur Gassman, is placed at the scene of the crime because his wife, Dorian Gray, can't alibi him as she was entertaining another man at the time. How these characters interact and implicate the more they try to extricate themselves provides the film with a number of amusing "Italians abroad" situations but not enough to sustain any real momentum. Filmed in 1961 but not released in the U.S. until 1964, CRIMEN was produced by Mangano's husband, Dino De Laurentiis, and tries to invert the conventions of Agatha Christie whodunnits for laughs. Not laugh-out-loud funny by any means but OK in an unexceptional way.
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