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Credited cast:
Antonio Pecoraro (segment "Cavalluccio Svedese, Il")
Donatella (segment "L'Ascensore")
Mons. Ascanio La Costa (segment "L'Ascensore")
Paolo Villaggio ...
Giobatta (segment "Italian Superman")
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lars Bloch ...
Owner of nightclub (segment "Italian superman")
Réné Bernard - the director (segment "Italian superman")
Giovannella Grifeo ...
Paola (segment "Cavalluccio Svedese, Il")
Olga Karlatos ...
Giovanna (segment "Cavalluccio Svedese, Il")
Vedova Adami (segment "L'Ascensore")
Valeria Moriconi ...
Giobatta's wife (segment "Italian Superman")
Bryan Rostron ...
Friend of Cristina (segment "Il cavalluccio svedese")
Jinny Steffan ...
Cristina (segment "Cavalluccio Svedese, Il") (as Giovanna Steffan)


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Release Date:

23 December 1976 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Occasion  »

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STRANGE OCCASION (Nanni Loy {uncredited}, Luigi Magni and Luigi Comencini, 1976) **1/2
6 June 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another of the myriad Italian compendium films, highlighting some of their more popular stars and dealing with one of the most commercial of subject matters – sex.

The first episode with Paolo Villaggio was the centre of controversy over its tastelessness, resulting in director Loy removing his name from it. The star resides in Amsterdam with his wife, making very little money selling specialty Italian food; one day he crosses paths with a local bigwig who notices the generous size of his member and, soon, Villaggio starts bringing home lots of dough – appearing in mask and costume, billed as the “Italian Superman”, in live porn shows making love to nubile girls stretched out on a large plate of pasta! It’s not long, however, before the wife finds out – but, rather than ask him to stop, she wants to get in on the act; the catch is that he can’t ‘work’ with his wife, and this soon leads him to be replaced by a Turkish hunk! Perhaps the best moment in this episode sees Villaggio hanging over the side of a ship: on chasing his initially distraught wife, he tries to explain that he’s doing it for her as well as the country’s honor, before nonchalantly confessing that he has just s*** his pants!

Nino Manfredi’s episode may be the most ordinary of the lot, since it’s not much different from many another Italian comedy of the era where an ageing man has one last fling with a teenage acquaintance. However, the star’s wonderful performance – not to mention the lovely presence of the entire female cast (including Manfredi’s elegant wife and their spunky daughter) – make it a very engaging romp (while also commenting on the state of ‘modern’ families).

The final episode is universally considered the best of the three: it revolves around a very simple situation, where Monsignor Alberto Sordi is trapped in an elevator for three days with sexy young Stefania Sandrelli. They start off by loathing one another, but their predicament (which happens during Italy’s Ferragosto period, where literally everybody goes on vacation!) soon has them bonding. The girl is even lulled into confiding her deepest secrets to the elderly man of the cloth, i.e. how she chose to console a young boy she just met whose mother had recently died (though when Sandrelli tells the priest that she wasn’t comfortable doing it, due to the presence of the boy’s sister at the same party, he bursts out with a spontaneous “What the f***?”). Sordi, however, is eventually revealed to be less pious than he lets on – and his declaration that someone freeing his natural instincts under abnormal conditions (as happens to him in the dark with Sandrelli here) isn’t responsible for them is rather a moot point!

With respect to the erotic content in the film, there’s full-frontal nudity only in the first episode, while it’s pretty mild in the second and – understandably – non-existent in the third; still, one has to admire such respected stars as Manfredi and Sordi for not being afraid to play characters which, basically, could only be labeled ‘dirty old men’! Typically, the film is accompanied by a lively lounge score from the late Piero Piccioni.

Incidentally, I recently taped a similarly-themed compendium (starring and directed by Sordi) called A COMMON SENSE OF MODESTY (1976), which I hope to watch one of these days...

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