Who would have thought that only moments after arriving at Rome for their honeymoon, the young and pure bride, Wanda, would sneak out of the room, leaving her fastidious groom, Ivan, all alone? Obsessed with the masculine Fernando Rivoli--the hero of her favourite romantic photo-novel, The White Sheik--Wanda plucks up the courage to meet him in person, only to be seduced by the arrogant protagonist, so far away from the hotel and her husband. As a result--perplexed by Wanda's strange disappearance, and unable to disclose the news to his family--Ivan meanders through the ill-lit Roman streets in search of his wife, on pins and needles, waiting for their eleven o'clock appointment with his uncle and the Papal Audience at the Vatican. What does the new day have in store for the separated newlyweds?Written by
A rare combination of high comedy and true (though comical) suspense. A real gem.
The protagonist is a stuffy little bureaucrat from a small town arriving for his honeymoon in Rome with his very sheltered (only a bit more than himself) young bride. He has few romantic thoughts on his mind. His main concern is a meeting with his uncle, a minor official at the Vatican, who has arranged an audience with the Pope.
While the jerk is taking a nap, his bride plots a momentary escape to fulfill her one wild fantasy---A meeting with the "White Sheik" a hero of the "frumetti"---a sort of trashy photographic comic book popular in 50s Italy---to whom she has sent red hot fan mail. She learns that the studio is only a few blocks from the hotel and resolves to meet her secret love for just a minute and get back to the hotel in time. Through a comedy of errors she is accidentally "abducted" to a shooting session where she learns to be careful about what she wishes for. Meanwhile, her husband is desperately searching for her and coming up with all kinds of frantic excuses to his family for her absence. I won't describe the movie any further for the benefit of those who wish to see it.
A very effective comedy with plenty of innuendo for adults and even some slapstick and sight gags. Loads of laughs for young and old. A very sweet story that nevertheless contains some of the surrealistic elements of Fellini's later work. If possible, get the subtitled version. The Italian language enhances the comical effect. A real gem.
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