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Ferdinando e Carolina (1999)

On his death bed in the 1820s, King Ferdinando I of Naples tries to escape the ghosts of his bloody kingship by remembering his younger days, when he was allowed to go hunting and have fun,... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Maria Carolina d'Asburgo
...
Princess of Medina
Adriano Pantaleo ...
...
Sara Goudar
Carlo Caprioli ...
Emperor Giuseppe d'Asburgo
...
Countess S. Marco
Vanessa Sabet ...
Maria Giuseppa
...
Angelo Goudar
...
Gennarino Rivelli
Lucilla Vacondìo ...
Lady Stratfordshire
Elena Presti ...
Princess of Floridia
...
Principe di Caramanico
Giuseppe Bottiglieri ...
Giacomo Goudar
Giuliano Amatucci ...
Fedele
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Storyline

On his death bed in the 1820s, King Ferdinando I of Naples tries to escape the ghosts of his bloody kingship by remembering his younger days, when he was allowed to go hunting and have fun, and inventing love games. Then he was obliged to marry Mary Caroline of Austria, daughter of Empress Mary Theresa, in a political marriage: unexpectedly, they became happy lovers, until court power games divided them, and a different historical season arrived. Written by Alessio F. Bragadini <alessio@dsnet.it>

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Comedy | History

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Release Date:

2 April 1999 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Ferdinando and Carolina  »

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User Reviews

 
Lots of fun in a farcical historical romp
2 September 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

A farcical romp involving King Ferdinando 1 of Naples and Princess Marie Carolina of Austria with whom he has an unsteady love-hate relationship, but nevertheless rules with her in the latter half of the 18th Century. Writers like to ridicule the aristocratic rulers and to distort historical facts which give them immeasurable pleasure in the process. This film is no exception. It's not only a film full of fun and action, but set design and costumes are of a very high standard and give an authentic touch to the period despite all the nonsense within the palace walls. Ferdinando as played by Sergio Assisi gives a whirlwind performance as he unbuttons every female bodice on sight or ends up under their billowing skirts. It seems he has sex tattooed on his brain. Even Carolina says he thinks of nothing else.

There are some memorable scenes beginning with the sound of rumbling bowels during a quiet game of cards (quite startling at first). There is a surprisingly unrefined game of blindman's buff where rabbits and white mice add originality to this age-old parlour game. The film is punctuated with comical incidents throughout. Some are only mildly funny, while others are quite hilarious.

In the latter part of the film when Ferdinando is rapidly failing in health he reflects on some of the cruel deeds during his life as he lies gasping on his death bed. Some horrifying close-ups of severed heads and cut throats all-bloodied come as a sudden shock so unexpected in a farce of this type. Some viewers may wish to close their eyes for a moment or two.

In the lighter moments of the film Fernando seems to spend much of his time racing about the palace like a naughty teenager bouncing about on the capacious beds for some more "hankie-pankie" as he calls it. Neatly woven into the story is the political intrigue between Austria and Naples and the use of royal mistresses to seduce the King or distract him from his intentions. I get the feeling that amongst all the silly capers there is more than an ounce of truth in the way that royalty is portrayed in manipulating events for their own ends as they seek expansion of their power over other territories.


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