The young widow of an ice-cream vendor is persuaded by the town mayor to stay in a small 'trullo' instead of leaving town. Though several townsmen show an interest in her, Maddalena remains... See full summary »
The young widow of an ice-cream vendor is persuaded by the town mayor to stay in a small 'trullo' instead of leaving town. Though several townsmen show an interest in her, Maddalena remains true to the spirit of her late husband until she meets his double, flamboyant archaeologist Luigi Granini. Written by
Rosa Fumetto, best known as the star stripper at Paris' Crazy Horse Saloon, plays Maddalena, her first big lead, looking very desirable throughout the picture while never having to crack a smile (which suits her own persona perfectly). Widowed on the night of the annual festival of the patron saint in her native Sammichele Di Bari when her husband Nicola (Renzo Montagnani) is struck down by fireworks, Maddalena wants to pick up and leave town. However, the mayor (Mario Carotenuto) and other dignitaries won't hear of it and grant her a place to live near the railroad in a little house known as a 'trullo'. The reason they want her to stay is obvious: Maddalena is one hot Italian pepperoni. Claiming to be a devoted to the village saint only, she spends her nights alone, fantasizing about her late husband with 'Emmanuele' type music playing in the background. The late Nicola appears as a ghost in comical scenes where he just steps out of a blinding light inside the closet.
Soon she's up and about on her little Vespa, attracting attention as well as complaints about wearing a little red dress instead of black (though her underwear still is). When she has to move out of the Trullo, the board of dignitaries set up a room for Maddalena with the local priest, Padre San Bolivagio, who soon worries about losing his faith. Her next boarding house is at the mansion of village millionaire, who has an entire wild animal kingdom on his grounds as well as a 16 year old son called Marco who is bored with the small village (and his girlfriend Erica). The older Maddalena is much more interesting to Marco, and she seems to be growing closer to the boy until Proffesor Luigi Granini, Italian champion of archeology (Renzo Montagnani again) arrives in town.
Now obviously they didn't pay the continuity person on this film very much, for something involving Renzo's double appearances went completely awry. We first see him as Nicola sporting glasses and a goatee (but never in close-up). Later,when his astral form materializes for Maddalena, he only has a mustache (Renzo's own) and no specs. His double, Proffesor Granini looks the same as the ghost, and it is not until the end that we get a good look at Nicola in a picture frame (that starts to change expression between cuts, like they always do in these Italian comedies), again with the glasses and goatee.
Torn between two lovers, one too old and the other her junior, things eventually resolve themselves for Maddalena in an unexpected way on the night of the festival of the patron saint (the first anniversary of Nicola's death). Director and writer Franco Bottari never seems to have made up his mind whether to go for straight comedy or lean towards eroticism. In the finished film, neither one is predominant, leading to a rather flat and forgettable outing.
7 out of 10
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