Henry IV (1984)
- Summaries (3)
Deranged after a fall from a horse, a man has lived for twenty years in a castle laboring under the delusion that he is Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. His psychiatrist concocts an elaborate scheme to shock him out of his medieval reverie.
The story begins at a medieval dressing party. A man, dressed as the King Enrico IV, falls from his horse and hits his head. This causes him serious lesions and gets insane, believing he is really the King
As befits a movie about acting, Bellocchio's "free adaptation" of Pirandello's 1921 play brings together two great stars of the Italian cinema: Marcello Mastroianni, as a scholar who has lived for 20 years under the trauma-induced delusion that he is the 11th-century Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, and Claudia Cardinale, as the aristocratic woman he loved before his accident. Role-playing abounds as Henry's psychiatrist concocts an elaborate scheme to shock him out of his medieval reverie: he'll be forced to confront both his lady love as she is in the present, and as she was in the romantic past, as embodied by her look-alike daughter.
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