In World War II, a strategic Italian village agrees to surrender to the Allies only if it's allowed to organize a celebratory festival while giving aerial reconnaissance the false impression of fierce ground fighting.
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A by-the-book captain is ordered to capture a strategic village in Italy. The Italian soldiers are willing to surrender, if they can have a festival first. The lieutenant convinces the captain this is the only way. Because of aerial reconnaissance, they must look like they are fighting. To sort this out an intelligence officer is sent in. Meanwhile the festival gets complicated with the mayor's daughter.Written by
Bernard chandler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Sixties produced a slew of funny war comedies demonstrating that WWII was basically good fun for all concerned, rather than being peopled with the kind of angst-filled, hand-wringing adolescents you see nowadays in movies like Memphis Belle and Saving Private Ryan. Edwards would go on to fantastic success with the Pink Panther series and writer Blatty is notable for his later work, The Exorcist. Edwards draws on a solid cast, including veterans Carroll O'Connor, Harry Morgan and Aldo Ray, without whom no war movie is complete. Italian star Fantoni turns in a meatball performance as Oppo but Dick Shawn steals the show with the best role of his career. Although a little slow in spots, Blake Edwards nonetheless gets where he's going and the result is a fine, though underrated, entry in the genre. The interactions between Shawn and Fantoni are worth the price of admission alone.
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