The director was probably influenced by Antonioni and Fellini and was burning with a desire to create his own "dolce vita" .With poor results.This is the kind of work which epitomizes the worst of both Italian and French "nouvelle vague".
The cast promised great things ,but as it often happens when the cast and credits consist of name-dropping,disappointment is not far away.Who do we have here?Italian earnest thespians(Alida Valli,Renato Salvatori who plays the lead,Antonella Lualdi),French good actors (Samy Frey,George Wilson and Hollywood old Latin lover Louis Jourdan), a German veteran (Curd Jurgens) and even Lee Actor's Studio's daughter Susan Strasberg! Prologue:Salvatori pays a visit to his old ma who is bedridden in a gloomy old people's home.He promises her that pretty soon he'll be rich and they'll live together in their house.
The Castle:Salvatori is hired as a catering assistant there.In this desirable mansion, the owner of the place is dying.The wife and the daughter are trying to regain the old man's love and affection while the son is busy gathering his friends for a feast .What a mess! The city:Salvatori and his pal take a girl home while three rich persons seem to have existential problems they drown with a little help from whiskey.Jean Sorel ,a poor man's Alain Delon, is almost unbearable.Then Salvatori meets a priest who is not the man he claims to be. What a mess! Epilogue:Salvatori runs to his mama's house,but much to his surprise and misery ,they are destroying it.
This kind of screenplay can work wonders.Outside Fellini's "dolce vita" ,Luis Bunuel pulled it off brilliantly with his overlooked "Fantôme de la Liberté" .But it takes great lines,humor,mystery, a good actor direction-here they are left to their own devices and most of them overact (Valli,Strasberg)- in a nutshell,it must go somewhere.Perhaps,Brusati wanted to tell us that life is a mess but we already knew it anyway.
Brusati should be remembered for his very funny "pane e cioccolata"!
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