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Finalmente le mille e una notte (1972)

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Title: Finalmente le mille e una notte (1972)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mariam
Femi Benussi ...
Zumurud
Barbara Marzano ...
Aziza
Esmeralda Barros
Pupo De Luca ...
Samandar
Gastone Pescucci
Alberto Atenari
Ignazio Leone ...
Husband of Mariam
Barbara Betti
Annie Carol Edel ...
(as Annie Karol Edel)
Gino Milli ...
Remo Capitani ...
(as Ray O'Connor)
Vassili Karis
Gigi Ballista ...
Genie in lamp
Elisabeth Felchner
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Storyline

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Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

7 December 1972 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

1001 Nights of Pleasure  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Referenced in The School Teacher (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
HOUSE OF 1000 PLEASURES (Antonio Margheriti, 1972) **1/2
14 March 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

While I would generally prefer a peplum actioner to a period sex comedy, it was odd for cult director Margheriti to be more successful at the latter – at least judging by the two lacklustre entries I watched recently from the former genre! Anyway, this film attests to the influence of Pier Paolo Pasolini's "The Trilogy Of Life" – made between 1971 and 1974 – since a myriad such bawdy efforts, collectively dubbed "Decamerotics", emerged around this time on his home-ground! It can be seen here not just in the episodic structure of the narrative, but also the outré costumes and ornate production design; Carlo Savina's score, then, could well have served your traditional Arabian Nights fantasy…

The movie involves an impotent(!) potentate, even if his current flame is the gorgeous Femi Benussi; his adviser then suggests that he be told a series of arousing tales which might help him regain his much-desired virility. This leads us to the re-enactment of the stories themselves: a middle-aged womanizer has a magic mirror which assures him he is at the top of the heap in his line – but, inevitably, at one point he begins to lag behind; so he brings the young man who has usurped his title in order to verify his claims. The latter even boasts that he can recognize any woman who shares his bed while blindfolded; when he really proves his mettle at this, it is decided that the older man's wife sacrifice herself to the cause – the ruse being that, if he guesses her identity, it means he is her lover and her husband can put him to death for it and, of course, if he fails to name her, he is still condemned! However, he still comes out on top – because he tells his rival/judge that it could only be his wife given that she was the only woman in town he had not yet had!

This is followed by the amorous adventures of Aladdin (not the one who found the magic lamp, but a relative way down the line – only the genie is still the same!); the latter's depiction as a Godfather-type figure is a most inspired touch. The boy's love interest is the wife of yet one more eminent citizen, played by another "Euro-Cult" starlet i.e. top-billed Barbara Bouchet; to enter her boudoir, Aladdin adopts the gift of invisibility and, to literally transport her away from her husband's bed, uses a magic carpet (incidentally, this had already been featured in Margheriti's just-viewed THE GOLDEN AROW {1962}). However, on one occasion, it is the old man who hitches a ride on the rug – and, since it cannot land before the relationship between its occupants is consummated three times, the boy ends up an unwitting court favourite for services rendered to the ruler! Given that none of the accounts do much to alleviate the male protagonist's predicament, he has the raconteurs beheaded on the spot…but the last one, told by a coloured woman, about a blonde nymphomaniac who meets her match in her current fruit-gobbling lover (only he keeps changing places with his many twin brothers conveniently hidden up in the trees!), works in surprising ways – as she shows a definite romantic interest in Benussi herself, the man finally joins in and, we are informed, so was born the practice of ménage-a'-trois!

The film is nothing special, mind you, but it certainly looks good and is harmlessly enjoyable under the circumstances – the nudity is not too explicit but, most amusing of all, is the application of the Mediterranean temperament (obviously familiar to me!) to the typical Oriental lifestyle.


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