Neapolitan Turk (1953)

  |  Comedy

Neapolitan Turk (1953) Poster

A petty criminal poses as a Turkish eunuch hired by a wealthy merchant to guard the women of his house.


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8 October 2017 | JAP_EMAIL
| the perfect example.
This film is a perfect example of the great comedy art of Totò. As always the story offers opportunities for the brilliant improvisations of the great comedian. As always, it is very difficult for those who don't speak the language to seize all the nuances and subtleties in the dialogues. The story, however, is quite original in itself: it is all about a couple of unwary thieves who go on from one theft to another, until one of them finds -within the swag- a letter of appointment -from a local politician to one of his countryman- that recommends the Turk himself (the victim of their theft) for a job at a wealthy trader's shop. The story unfolds between misunderstandings of all kinds and is based on the unawareness of Toto's character that the letter assignment tacitly assumes that the bearer is supposed to be an eunuch ... Dialogues at this point become kind of pyrotechnic, and the comedian is triggered in a series of puns and jokes that can bring down the ceiling. In the end, the deceit will come to light, but the devilish petty thief will find once again the way of breaking the rules by turning the situation to his advantage and of solving all the intrigues that threatened the happiness of the other characters. Among the pretty actresses in this movie we can admire the late wife of Totò's, Franca Faldini; there're also the right-hand men Carlo Campanini, the unfailing Mario Castellani, and -as a real treat- a very young Aldo Giuffrè, who will be -later on- impersonating the famous Alcoholic Union Captain of the unforgettable "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Altogether one of my favorite films of the period of Totò's artistic maturity, though still soaked in a fair dose of naivety, which leaves a pleasing aftertaste of old times in your mouth. In one of the scenes, when the eunuch is attending the women on the "forbidden-to-men" side of the beach, and he's telling his adventures in exotic lands, the women ask him how many wives do they have over there. He answers of course they have many ... up to 50 and more! ... Wow, go the ladies ... But you have to reckon - he continues - that it implies also 49 mothers-in-law ... Why only 49? ... asks one of them, a young woman ... Well, you see ... averaging, you certainly will find at least one orphan among 50 ladies ... These were the kind of unearthly things Totò could conjure up, out of his magician's hat: 1953! Can you recall what other comedians around the world were proposing in those days? ... Bye, Pino.

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