A buried treasure.The director has made a lot of these peplums which proliferated circa 1960.None is particularly memorable.But "IL fornaretto di Venezia" is a different matter;this is a definitely absorbing,excellent work,that would deserve to be restored to favor.Had it come from a recognized "auteur",it would be a near classic today.
This is a murder mystery -Michèle Morgan plays a 1507 Miss Marple-,a whodunit, a tragedy,a thriller ..It' also the eternal fight between the high and the mighty on one side ,the poor and the humble on the other one.Charged with a noble's murder, a young baker will be judged by the Doges;what can he expect from men who 've got all Venice in their hands?
A third of the movies is flashbacks ,as Morgan's investigation progresses;the elements fit together as dominos,and inexorably lead to an unbearable conclusion;unbearable for the Patricians who practice a travesty of a trial.They are wearing masks as they bring in the verdict.
The use of Venice settings is admirable:a duel at night ,strange meetings in tortuous streets,sumptuous palaces,the magnificent clock who rings the bell of doom.And above all,the director makes us feel that in the city,life goes on with its feasts,its street theater,its human pyramids:a small miracle in itself.
A splendid cast ,including Jacques Perrin,Michèle Morgan,Stefania Sandrelli,Sylva Koscina shine in a political thriller which has not lost its strength today,in spite of a melodramatic ending.
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