|Index||3 reviews in total|
If you like watching Italian multi-segment sex comedies -- yes, they
made them by the hundreds in the 1960s -- this might be one of the most
charming and enjoyable. Good production values, fine directors
(Bolognini, Salce, Pietrangeli and champion Monicelli), efficient male
co-stars (Jean Sorel, Enrico Maria Salerno, Gastone Moschin and great
Alberto Sordi), simple but not bad stories (especially fine is Queen
But above all, you'll be delighted with these four magnificently beautiful, funny & sexy ladies: force of nature Claudia Cardinale as a carefree young gypsy mother (in one of her best comedy roles); supreme comedienne Monica Vitti who delivers here no less than a masterclass on comedy timing; gorgeous Raquel Welch, sexier than in any of her American films; and classy Capucine, whose character becomes very naughty when she drinks...and then forgets all about it. Wonderful for a lazy evening. Try to see it in the original Italian version with subtitles, so you won't miss Vitti & Cardinale's sexy, husky voices.
There are four episodes (60s style) directed by four excellent Italian
directors (e.g., Monicelli, Bolognini) at their peak. The women
Capucine, Raquel Welch, Monica Vitti and Claudia Cardinale are
obviously at the top of their performances too. The best and very
original episodes were with Vitti and Cardinale which is what the 9
rating is for. The other two episodes are OK (6).
Raquel is her early days can't act (not until she did Broadway). She looks amazing, but she's like looking at a $5,000 plasma HD TV turned off...nothing going on but looks good.
Monica is hilarious in her episode which involves some who's chasing who... Cardinale is terrific and gorgeous as a gypsy girl involves with babies (funky to check out where she lives...). They are the life of this film in contrast to the coolness of Capucine and Welch.
This film is the least know of the episodic commedia all'italiana genre (e.g., Boccaccio '70) It is difficult to get this on DVD (although I have seen copies perhaps unauthorized so the quality of a print you might find may not be good). Hopefully it will be digitally reworked on DVD.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With Easter coming up in a weeks time,I decided,that due to a close friend having greatly enjoyed the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western The Good,The Bad and The Ugly,that I would pick up the Blu-Ray of Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West for him as an Easter gift. Asking him a few weeks later about how he found the movie to be,I was surprised to discover,that along with having now watched the movie half a dozen times,that he had also developed a crush on the lead actress!.
Checking the lead actress's IMDb page, (who I soon found out to be Claudia Cardinale)I by chance clicked on a title that sounded like a wonderful anthology Comedy film.Expecting to find a DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon Uk,I was surprised to find that there was no sign of the movie anywhere.
Talking to a DVD seller about other titles,I decided to mention the title in the faint hope that they may have some info about the movie.Beating all of my expectations,the seller told me that not only did he have info about the title,but he actually had a DVD of the film!,which led to me getting ready to set my eyes on Claudia Cardinale for the first time.
Note:Due to the film being made up of 4 stories,I've decided to spilt the plot into 4 sections.
Story 1:Queen Sabrina:
Running out of a woodland area from a man who wants to get a bit too close to her,Sabrina is relived to spot a passing car.Stopping the car,the man agrees to help Sabrina get away,and to also help her hitch- hike to Rome.Feeling relieved about being on her way to Rome,Sabrina soon finds out that no man is able to resist her unintentional temptations.
Story 2:Queen Armenia.
Getting a phone call to visit a sick baby,Dr Aldini goes to a house on the outskirts of a town.Finding the baby to look perfectly healthy,Aldini is suddenly confronted by a woman called Armenia who begins accusing him of things that he has not done.Rushing off back to his hospital,Aldini is left in a state of shock,when he discovers Armenia and the baby sitting in his waiting room.Suspecting Armenia to be a bit of a money grabber,Aldini begins to plan ways which he can create a sense of space between himself and her,whilst also starting to relies that he is unable to get Armenia's beauty and strange charms out of his head.
Story 3:Queen Elena.
Arriving to pick up a check for work that he's recently completed at his bosses house,Luigi discovers that his boss has fallen asleep in the back garden,and that the only person awake is the bosses wife,Elena.Talking to Elena as she does some sowing,Luigi finds himself being taken by Elena's amazing looks and smile.With sleep being the thing that's currently keeping his boss occupied,Luigi decides to keep himself occupied by getting closer to Elena.
Story 4:Queen Marta.
Getting hired as a waiter for a charity dinner,Giovanni is happily caught by surprise,when the wealthy owners of the dining house ask if he could be their chauffeur.Acepting their offer,Giovanni finds himself unable to take his eyes off a woman called Marta,who is the wife that is hosting the dinner party.Taking around the last drinks of the night to each of the guests,Giovanni finds Marta alone in a bedroom.Initially walking out of the bedroom,the very drunk Marta orders Giovanna to return right now,and give her a night of passion.Initially thinking that he may have met the love of his life,Giovanni soon finds out that there are two very different sides to Marta.
View on the film:
Taking a different route than anthology films from the period,which were led by 1 writer and 1 director,the screenplay by (deep breath!) Luigi Magni/Tonino Guerra/Suso Cecchi D'Amico/Ruggero Maccari/Luciano Salce/Roberto Stonego and Rodolfo Stonego shows a tremendous skill in making each of the stories its own entity with wonderful lively Comedy,whilst also developing themes which gradually move to the front of the movie.
Using Sabina's appearance to be something that sends every man she meets the wrong signal,the writers cleverly make the male character's blindness to the reality of their fantasy woman to be a thread that runs deep in the roots of the film,with Giovanna being shown as the only character in the movie who comes to the full realisation about the differences between his image of Marta,and the real image of Marta. Entering the film in an extremely revealing outfit,the beautiful Monica Vitti gives an excellent performance which shows Sabina to be full of sass,and also nervousness about not knowing what Sabina is doing,which causes every man to chase after her.
Joining Vitti,Raquel Welch/Capucine and Claudia Cardinale each give charisma-pouring performances,that make them the stars of each story,with Welch giving Elena some real girl next door charm,whilst the stunning Cardinale shows Armenia to not be all that she seems, and Capucine gives some strong icy vibes as Marta.
Following in the writers direction,directors Mauro Bolognini/Mario Monicelli/Luciano Salce and Antonio Pietrangeli each give their stories stylishly extravagant,pop-art bursting appearances that have a great atmosphere for outdoor scenes,they also have a sly underlying theme,that despite being surrounded by such wealthy,none of the male characters are able to get what is most valued to them,as they each soon discover that wealth cant buy them a queens royal flush.
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