Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sophia Loren & Vittorio Gassman in Ghosts Italian Style (1969)

Now that Halloween is over, I thought this film would be a fitting one to feature - not because it's scary, but because it's misnamed. There's very little supernatural phenomena in this film, it's really a bedroom farce with Maria (Loren) being pursued by two men - her husband, Pasquale (Gassman) and a rich suitor (Mario Adorf) who wants her to get a divorce and marry him. The young couple, who are having financial problems, move into a villa that seems too good to be true - it's vast, with many rooms and classical detailing, but run down and it's rumored to be haunted. The only ghost haunting this house is Maria's suitor who sneaks around and is caught by Pasquale, who assumes he's the ghost.
There are oh, so many misunderstandings and a good deal of Italian scenery chewing. Speaking of scenery, it's quite nice, both feminine and masculine - Loren is in beautiful form and both Gassman and Adorf are quite delectable. Margaret Lee plays Sayonara, a singer/prostitute who rents one of the rooms in the villa, and she is quite the character, wearing some pretty outlandish outfits. Look for an outrageous cameo by Italian film legend Marcello Mastroianni at the end of the film.

This film has yet to make it to DVD. It can be found on television occasionally and the trailer is above, uploaded to YouTube by OurManInHavana.

Obscurity factor: 10 (largely unknown, not on DVD or YouTube)

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