....the hero says ."An army in the service of whores and fags,more like!"
Bellochio's main merit was to treat the subject (military service in Italy but at the time ,before most the European armies became professional,it had an international feel) seriously.In Italy or in France,coarse comedy was rampant:France had the Charlots and their dismal Bidasses (=squaddies) farces and Italy had Edwige Fenech cast as a doctor in the barracks.
All that concerns the barracks atmosphere ,the stupid orders, the mind-destroying drill ,the humiliations is successful.Patrick Dewaere appears as a blasé cynical officer.
On the other hand,all that concerns officer Franco Nero's private life with wife Miou-Miou -whom he treats like dirt-is less convincing,looking like a poor man's "Reflection in a golden eye" .
A courageous movie,however.
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