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For me it's difficult to speak about this great comedy.
it's very funny with sometimes black humour.
There is also a good psychological analysis of italian
Dino Risi with "I Mostri" & "I Nuovi Monstri" do an excelent
Gassman and Tognazi are exceptional.
My advice: - If you have seen the movie, see it again and if you haven't you must try to find it.
Most of the patrons of the good cinema know that Italian film industry has always been at the forefront of serious as well as good cinema movement.So by that yardstick,it is important to make a note of Italian comedy.This was one of the most interesting chapters of Italian cultural life after the dreadful harsh realities of the treacherous World War 2.As Italy made a meticulously planned recovery after the harsh destruction of an alien invasion,its society witnessed numerous sociological as well as economical upheavals.This was the primary reason which gave birth to Italian cinema movement.Dino Rosi's film "I Mostri" is the perfect example of Italian ribaldry. It was made as a result of many people's collective efforts. Apart from Ugo Tognazzi and Vittorio Gassman, famous filmmaker Ettore Scola also lent a helping hand. Although there are short humorous episodes in this film, due to its 2 hour length,this film gives subtle impression of a feature film.A must for all those who are interested in good cinema, Italian culture and the strengths and weaknesses of human behavior.
This film is terrific, at the same level as Risi's The Easy Life. Each of the 19 episodes works wonderfully. The two principal actors, Gassman and Tognazi are superb. I laughed loudly many times during the film, shown in Paris where I am currently spending three months, as the first film in an Italian Comedy series running at the Reflet Medicis cinema. The final episode, The Noble Sport,was tragic in its denouement, just as the final scene in The Easy Lifeis tragic. In that film, the Gassman character, Bruno, walks away,physically unscathed. In I Mostri, the character played by Gassman in the final episode, does not get off so lucky. It is inexplicable to me that these films are not available on DVD (or video) in the United States. Of course many great films are not available, but do not hesitate to go significantly out of your way to see this film.
This is considered a classic of Italian comedy – one of many
anthologies satirizing their way of life while showcasing the versatile
talents of particular stars (in this case, Vittorio Gassman and Ugo
Tognazzi); director Risi would himself later make the similarly
episodic I COMPLESSI (1965), SESSOMATTO (1973) and this film’s own
sequel, I NUOVI MOSTRI (1977) – which, quite surprisingly, was a Best
Foreign Language Academy Award nominee the following year.
As with most films of its type, quality varies throughout the 20(!) episodes – some of these are so short that they’re over before having even begun, while others work their way to a punchline which can be seen coming a mile off; however, a fair number of them are genuinely inspired and side-splitting to boot (the general tone throughout, as befits the title, is one of irreverence). A few episodes include other name performers – such as Michele Mercier and Lando Buzzanca – but it’s Gassman and Tognazzi’s show all the way (the two appear either separately or as a team). Armando Trovajoli’s upbeat score (which is mixed with a handful of current hit songs) is the perfect accompaniment to this entertaining and well-made compilation.
My favorite episodes are the following: the opening one – in which scoundrel Tognazzi’s schooling of his nerd-ish son (real-life offspring Ricky, later an actor and director in his own right) works all too well, to his own personal detriment; another where a gang of ‘thugs’ including Gassman kidnap an old lady (apparently for the nth time)…as it transpires not for ransom purposes but, rather, so that she can perform a dangerous and humiliating stunt involving a wheelchair-bound woman being thrown into a pool in a film whose director is Gassman himself (in another role)!; also, a courtroom drama in which simple-minded Tognazzi’s voluntary testimony is turned against him by the underhanded tactics of the defense counsel (a flamboyant Gassman); the most famous episode, then, is the concluding one with the stars as a couple of boxers way past their prime who decide to try their luck at the game one last time (with Gassman in the ring and Tognazzi as his manager) – we last see them flying a kite on the beach, Gassman having taken such a severe beating that he is reduced to a vegetable!
Other notable skits include the titular episode where a murderer is captured by a couple of cops – except that these are so ugly that one wonders who The Monster actually is!; one involving a soldier (Tognazzi) who meekly presents his deceased sister’s diary to a newspaper, ostensibly the one she was most sympathetic to herself…except that it eventually transpires that he was merely interested in how much he could make out of the salacious memoirs and that he naturally would let them go only to the highest bidder!; yet another deals with Gassman, living in the slums with a plethora of kids and relatives, cursing his rotten luck – and, yet, has no qualms about spending his measly pay on soccer matches every Sunday (where he contrives to forget all his misery and lets rip with enthusiasm for the game)! Two (minor) episodes, then, play with issues of gender and sexual orientation: in one Gassman even appears in drag as a female literary critic (who awards the “Book Of The Month” prize to none other than her own protégé, a novice author!), and in another Tognazzi and Gassman play beach studs who discover they have greater affection for each other than their possible ‘preys’!
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