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Proof positive that there was,in the fifties, an alternative to Joselito Jimenez's soupy melodramas.
"Amici Per La Pelle" depicts a pure friendship between two teenagers ,a friendship which will endure,even,as if one user wrote,they were never to meet again.Mario is the would be tough guy sure of himself,but the last scenes show he breaks like a little boy (the writers are to be praised for not taking the easy way out).Franco is introverted,extremely sensitive ;he comes from the upper class of the society (his dad is an ambassador) but his relationship with his pal never suffers for it.True friendship knows no class,no race...Even for the father,it's only natural that his son should be taken in by his friend's family when he is away (and it must be pointed out that Mario's dad is an artist ,verging on bohemian life):the key to Franco's character is the loss of his mother ,which may explain he finds it hard to relate to girls.Now that his dear mother still lives on in his heart,he invents an imaginary girlfriend .
There's a stunning chemistry between the two young actors.
This movie had a huge influence on Luigi Comencini's later works which deal with childhood: "Cuore" ," Voltati Eugenio" and mainly ,mainly,'Incompreso" (it's no coincidence if his two young heroes are a consul's sons and their mom's dead).If you have liked "Amici Per La Pelle" ,Watch them.
NB:Geronimo Meynard's career ended with Freda's "Giuletta E Romeo "(1964) ,but time had taken its toll,and he was far from being as convincing,as moving as he is in Rossi's delicate drama.
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