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Richard T. Heffron
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
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Average adaptation of a much better novel.Stefano Vanzina 's movies--(1):Double Murder
I see nobody else commented on this film before.
Having recently read Moretti's small novel,I was particularly displeased with the unnecessary and disgraceful modifications of the original:beginning with Bruno Baldassarre's private life (in Moretti's novel,the protagonist is not divorced,he has not any teenager son,etc.) .I see no reason for any of the modifications.On the other hand,the movie looks as a deliberate parody of the novel (which was itself already a spoof):the solution is disclosed at the beginning.It is as if those who adapted the novel did not in fact like it.The changes they made are stupid,useless and devastating.
But perhaps even more revolting is the misuse of a first-hand cast (Marcello Mastroianni,Peter Ustinov,Ursula Andress and Agostina Belli,the woman from Le Grand Escogriffe,a movie I commented on IMDb); the otherwise&elsewhere very photogenic Ursula Andress does not look striking in this movie--not even in the shower scene ....As far as he is allowed,Peter Ustinov makes a good role,but his character was a concoction.
The rudeness of the gross attacks (inexistent in the book,and inserted by Agenore Incrocci&Furio Scarpelli) against Pius XII was both extremely coarse and uncalled for.
Riz Ortolani's score is sometimes fine and interesting.
Juxtaposed to the mini-novel (which is a genre masterpiece),the film is comparatively clumsy and vapid.
Little of the intelligent and clever joyousness of the novel,and of Moretti's wonderful style,is to be found here.Moretti's booklet was pretty suspenseful,sometimes almost as a 'giallo spoof;this dimension is absent from the movie,where not one single moment of true suspense exists.Lost was also the erotic side of the novel--with these two worst filmed actresses.
Marcello Mastroianni would have been very fit for a hare-brained cop,but his character in the movie lacks the fabulous charm he has in the novel.
No actor is well filmed,but Peter Ustinov was too skilled an actor not draw attention to himself;he does that whenever he has the opportunity.
I cannot recommend the film;read instead the novel!
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