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What? (1972)

Che? (original title)
X | | Comedy | 3 October 1973 (USA)
A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alex
...
Nancy
...
Joseph Noblart
Romolo Valli ...
Giovanni
Guido Alberti ...
Priest
Henning Schlüter ...
Catone (as Henning Schlueter)
Gianfranco Piacentini ...
Tony
Christiane Barry ...
Dresser
...
German #2
Elisabeth Witte ...
Nurse
Mogens von Gadow ...
German #1 (as Mogen von Gadow)
Carlo Delle Piane ...
Young Oaf #1 in Car
Luigi Bonos ...
Painter
Livio Galassi
Carla Mancini
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Storyline

A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed version of "Alice in Wonderland", with Marcello Mastroianni as the maddest of mad hatters and Roman Polanski a kinky March hare. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The kinkiest caper of the year!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diary of Forbidden Dreams  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When producer Robert Evans was trying to coax Roman Polanski to direct Chinatown (1974), he found Polanski thoroughly absorbed with this film, to the extent that he had bought a 50% share in it. Evans eventually lured Polanski by saying that whatever "What" made in its opening week, he would pay him as his salary for directing "Chinatown". Polanski readily agreed to this, expecting "What" to do well as he considered it the best thing he had done up to that point. Unluckily for Polanski, "What" only grossed $64 on its first week. See more »

Goofs

Nancy's hands are well manicured throughout the movie, but quite ordinary during close-ups, when she's supposedly playing the piano. See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata for Four Hands KV 497
By Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Claudio Gizzi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A product of its times, instantly forgettable
1 April 2016 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

A direct quote from Polanski "My wish was to make a film without costumes first of all, preferably without clothes at all. And without catapults and stage fights. MacBeth exhausted us all to such an extent that we were truly ready to change professions." What? For the most part is a throwaway sex comedy, a film to pick up the spirits at the time depleted director - An absurd Italian Sex farce for which in Italy at least was a success.

It's no more than a series of vignettes with no real beginning, middle or end. Things just happen for no apparent reason and without any explanation. Nancy (Sydne Rome) after escaping a trio of inept rapists stumbles into a rambling coastal estate wearing little more than an napkin throughout.

Certainly a misstep in Polanski's oeuvre but it's not without its moments of genuine humour and flashes of his trademark shots. Moments of wit in the script but most of the shortcomings are in the direction itself What? Indeed were they trying to say? A running time of 2 hours does test the patience, a film for completists mainly instantly forgettable, but maybe this is what was needed to recharge the batteries to make his next film "Chinatown".


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