7th September 1943. The honest and reliable carabiniere Umberto is sent to escort the flamboyant con man Raoul Nuvolini from Terni to Venice. Umberto's fiancée Luisa follows him against his... See full summary »
7th September 1943. The honest and reliable carabiniere Umberto is sent to escort the flamboyant con man Raoul Nuvolini from Terni to Venice. Umberto's fiancée Luisa follows him against his will. Soon their train breaks and the have to find a way to carry on towards Venice. While they are ponderously traveling through Italy the new Italian government sign the armistice with the Allies: everything will change in Italy, also for our three travelers. Written by
Screening as part of the 2007 Italian Film Festival in Melbourne and titled "Kiss Me Baby" here in Australia I confess to being a bit of a fan of the male lead actor, Neri Marcore, previously seen in earlier festivals in "The Heart Elsewhere" and "The Second Wedding Night" the highlight of the 2006 festival.
This is a movie full of gorgeous Italian scenery, Fiat Topolinos with fabric folding roofs and even though we are in war torn Italy and it's not all pretty there is a rural airiness to this that is a bit like a being in the country on beautiful sunny day.
Neri Marcore again perfectly cast.. truly this guy has a wonderful acting range. Normally I'm a bit more drawn to actresses than actors but Neri has a bearing about him that's hard to miss. And the ability to play a strong, hard male lead here, a conman, son and womanizer in the "Second Wedding Night" and a bit of mummy's boy, very soft and gentle in "The Heart Elsewhere" also a period piece set in the 1920s in Bologna from memory.
Supporting him in "Kiss Me Baby", Vincenzo Salemme who plays the conman Raoul is a real find. As I was sitting in the cinema I was thinking with his gleam in the eye an Italian Tony Curtis in his prime. But that's underscoring Vincenzo although he was born in Naples as was Curtis, Vincenzo may have a lot more substance to him than Tony. Elena Russo made up the 3rd leg of the main trio. Looking at other links she's very attractive in real life and does a great job here. There must be a dozen or more other very engaging, very warm characters as we make the trip to Venice.
The following trailer will give you some idea what the cast look like, Vincenz's dashing good looks. In the cinema (with better quality film) even though you are back in 1943 it doesn't feel anywhere dated or perhaps corny like the trailer, the images are fresh and sharp, locations perfect. Of course the version I saw had English subtitles and I always think these help you concentrate. A very nice soundtrack to top it all off!
I like this genre. Europe in the 1930s, 1940s. Doing a bit of research this morning on some old favorites and we are talking the "Comedy Harmonists", "A Month by the Lake", "Tea with Mussolini", "Life is Beautiful" and perhaps less successfully the Gerard Depedui "Bon Voyage". Please note these are all the English titles. "Gripsholm" which takes immediate pre-war from a German point of a view looks like one to pursue as well!
Part of the joy of these festivals for me is first off enjoying a movie and if it passes that test, natural curiosity kicks in and a romantic research project starts for an hour or so afterwards the next day while the enjoyment of the film screening is still fresh. This work is not something to put off...it's passion based so only the enjoyable ones get this treatment. Seeing what other work an actor/actress may have done and following that. Along the way perhaps we see another movie in the same genre to pursue. Guess it's a bit like digging for gold. Once you get onto a good vein follow it!
The Italian movie site above was like striking the mother lode today with trailers, movie posters, links to CDs, DVDs, etc. The music in this movie and also in the The Get Together Dinner this year is fabulous. Something else to pursue!
SYNOPSIS Finally here's the movie synopsis from the festival website Elegant and inspired, KISS ME, BABY is part tender love-story, witty road movie and historical drama. Cimpanelli's superb direction tells the story of a couple on their honeymoon at the most unlikely of times
the middle of World War II.
Love, passion, despair, bombings, hunger and death. Welcome to Italy, September 8, 1943. After being led into a disastrous war by Mussolini, Italy surrenders to the Allies and joins with them to fight against Hitler and the Nazi regime. On the eve of this historic date we meet Umberto, an honest and reliable policeman and his long standing fiancée Luisa.
When Umberto is asked to safely escort flamboyant con man Raoul Nuvolini to Venice, Luisa joins him. After all, Venice is the city of love and she has been waiting patiently to marry for years. As the group of three board a train bound for Venice they are unaware that their lives and the fate of their country will change forever.
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