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Secret Fantasy (1971)
"Il merlo maschio" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  1 July 1979 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 237 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

A frustrated musician makes a career out of his wife's beautiful body.

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lando Buzzanca ...
Niccolo Vivaldi
...
Costanza Vivaldi
Ferruccio De Ceresa ...
The psychanalyst
Elsa Vazzoler ...
Costanza's mother
Gino Cavalieri ...
Costanza's father
Luciano Bianciardi ...
Mazzacurati
Adolfo Belletti
Franco Bisazza
Gigi Bonfanti
Bruno Boschetti
Felicita Fanny ...
Whore
Edda Ferronao ...
Costanza's relative
Corrado Olmi ...
Violin teacher
Alfredo Piano
Aldo Puglisi ...
Chemist
Edit

Storyline

Niccolò Vivaldi is a cello player and he plays in Arena di Verona Orchestra. But he is not the first and neither the second cello. He is frustrated. Nobody can remember his face, nor his name. Niccolò is married to Costanza, who is really beautiful and he takes some pictures of her naked. Later he shows the pictures to a friend and so he feels better. He starts to write a comic opera called "Il merlo maschio" only to discover later he had written Rossini's "La gazza ladra". To maintain his self-esteem he can only show his wife... Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Fantasy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Must-See for fans of Laura Antonelli and of Italian Comedies
10 December 2014 | by (Munich, Germany) – See all my reviews

In my opinion this is one of the best Laura Antonelli comedies of her whole career. There can be no doubt she did better films per se – Malizia, Mogliamante, L'Innocente – but when it comes to a truly successful comedy, „Il Merlo Maschio" is definitely high in rank in her filmography.

Niccolo Vivaldi is a talented, but failing cellist at the famous Verona amphitheatre orchestra. Slightly neurotic, he feels disregarded, disrespected, unfairly treated all the time. When his wife, little dorky but likable peasant girl Costanza, needs to go into rehab, Niccolo is there when she undresses in front of the doctors – and all of a sudden he realizes his wife is a bombshell like no other! And how to get the admiration he desperately seeks. Niccolo starts out easy by taking pictures of Costanza in the nude, and gains self-esteem after showing them to his colleagues. But his role plays and increasingly wild sexual phantasies put their relationship to the test...

Lando Buzzanca is just fantastic to watch as Niccolo, going from deep depression up to maximum excitement and then anew. Of course it's a role taylor-made for the comedy veteran Buzzanca, and he succeeds in generating sympathy for underdog Niccolo right from the very first minute.

Costanza is played by the young Laura Antonelli, in 1971 still not too well-known. But films like this one surely made her stand out. Laura is just adorable as the simple housewife, and she does some really funny „peasant" dialect in the Italian version. Her dialogs are just hilarious, and although the part lacks some depth, she acts very decently and is definitely convincing.

There can be no denying the script relies heavily on the typical „sexy commedia all'italiana" ingredients - frivolous dialogs and female nudity packed in funny and awkward situations. And oh boy, this film delivers plenty of that. Or let's say, Laura delivers plenty of that. She is a feast for the eyes, and there is a variety of very memorable scenes. Truly awesome.

But at the same token, this is not just a Laura inspection. We take part in Niccolo's career efforts at the orchestra, there is a surprising amount of not too far-fetched psychological elements, and the two get into a marriage crisis due to Niccolo's desires. There is considerable substance beyond the nudity. Music plays a huge part itself, and the score provides wonderful renditions and variations of classical tunes, combined with very pleasant original music.

However, the situations that Niccolo puts Costanza in during the final twenty minutes, are going a little over the top, some scenes felt repetitive. But this is complaining from a very high level, as the movie remains entertaining until the end.

As said, this is a very good comedy with a funny script and a great pair of actors. Laura Antonelli fans mustn't miss this!


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