6 July 2016 | kevinolzak
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1969
"The Bigamist" was a 1956 Italian release not to be confused with the better known 1953 Joan Fontaine title directed by Ida Lupino. "Il Bigamo" stars Marcello Mastroianni as Mario De Santis, traveling salesman for dental products, who returns home from his usual long distance rounds to his wife Valeria (Giovanna Ralli) and year old son Tonino, only to be called to the police station for questioning. A woman named Isolina Fornaciari (Franca Valeri) has made a sworn statement that she was married to Mario exactly seven years earlier, having spent three days together before he went out to buy cigarettes, never to return. Mario is adamant that he has never even seen the woman before, while the authorities are convinced that he's guilty of bigamy. Valeria still loves her husband, but is torn by her family's persuasion that she have nothing more to do with him, while his only hope seems to lie with his expert defense counsel (Vittorio De Sica), who insists that his client plead guilty to receive a lighter sentence. The flamboyant De Sica is as usual a constant delight, the hard working Mastroianni battered around from beginning to end, the eye of the hurricane. An unusual title to be shown on Pittsburgh's long running Chiller Theater, during a seven month period when many such Italian comedies were shown, the first feature on Dec 27 1969, followed by more typical horror fare, 1957's "The Man Without a Body." Other Mastroianni titles that popped up on the show include "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," "Marriage Italian Style," "Casanova 70," and the truly sci fi "The Tenth Victim." Long unseen for many years, "Il Bigamo" finally received a 2014 DVD release from Video Dimensions, in Italian with English subtitles.