During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Baltimore industrialist Wendell Armbruster crosses paths with London shop girl Pamela Piggott when they come to Ischia to pick up the bodies of her mother and his father, who have been killed in an automobile accident after a ten-year summertime affair. Straitlaced Wendell tries to avoid a scandal while free-spirited Pamela is impressed by the romantic setting. After some confusion with the bodies and a blackmail attempt by unscrupulous locals, Wendell and Pamela extend their parent's affair into the next generation. Written by
Billy Wilder cast several non-professionals in supporting roles. Guidarino Guidi was a Rome actor's agent who called Wilder about getting jobs on the film for various clients and was instead cast as the maitre d' of the Excelsior Hotel; Raffaele Mottola was hired as the film's dialogue coach and then persuaded to play the passport official at the start of the film; and the elderly Armando Giovagnoli, playing the nonagenarian Baron, was Wilder's chauffeur on the film. The famous make-up man Harry Ray, who worked on a number of Wilder films (and was, for a time, Jack Lemmon's personal make-up man), was cast as Dr. Fleischman, the dentist on Wendell's plane - perhaps because of his close resemblance to Billy Wilder. See more »
Early in the film when Carlo Carlucci gets out of the hotel van to greet Wendell Armbruster Jr at the boat landing, a young boy walking with a women enters the scene from the right side and he is clearly waving at the camera. See more »
The great team of actor Jack Lemmon and director Billy Wilder create yet another classic in their repetoire of great films. In AVANTI! (which means "forward" in Italian), Lemmon plays Armbruster, a snobby American executive who travels to Italy to reclaim the body of his father after the latter dies of an autowreck. Little did Armbruster
know that his old man had a companion with him, a British lady whose daughter Pamela (Juliet Mills) is also present to claim her body. Though antagonists at first, Armbruster and Pamela are drawn together because of their parents' mutual interest. With a rich Italian
landscape (complete with an awesome view of the Mediterrean Sea), plus a typically great performance by Lemmon and a well-played one by Mills, make this a terrific romance flick.
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