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  • Years ago I thought I was familiar with all of Billy Wilder's movies and as I thumbed through what might have been an old copy of Playboy, perhaps a Sex in the Cinema article, I came across a picture of a nude Juliet Mills and Jack Lemmon sitting on the rocks in an unknown Billy Wilder film, and was determined to one day see that film and much more of the Nanny from The Nanny and the Professor. VCRs were just coming on the market, so I had to wait a few years till Cinemax showed it in the early morning. I stayed up most of the night to satisfy my prurient interest and what I ended up with was a film I didn't want to end, a tune that played over and over again in my head for days, and one of my most favorite movies.

    Yes, this movie is a comedy, sometimes a very black comedy, and sometimes a satire filled with irony. Yes, it's a romance, all about a wonderful romance that sparks up between two seemingly opposite people in the strangest of places at the strangest of times under the strangest of circumstances, the way romance quite often does. And at times there's sadness and pain to tug at your heart. It's all about discovering who you really are when you've lost your way in all life's confusion, and also about perhaps being better than your parents when you get older and more like them.

    Lemmon is the consummate cad, Juliet Mills the most charming Englishwoman to grace a celluloid comedy, Clive Revill is perfect in his most Oscar-deserving role as the hotel manager Carlo Carlucci, the Italian cast members never fail to entertain, and the music is as catchy and memorable as any Bernstein or Tiomkin or Goldsmith score. The movie may be 2-1/2 hours long, but the time passes quickly as Lemmon and Mills rediscover love and youth and passion, and I always find myself wishing that I could see the two lovers returning a year later like their parents.

    Billy Wilder may have given us dramatic gems like Stalag 17, Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, and Sunset Boulevard, given us comedic gems like Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot, and romantic gems like The Apartment and Irma La Douce, but it wasn't till the end of his career that he could take qualities from all of those and give them a magical, lyrical feel and atmosphere and come up with a jewel like Avanti!
  • So much has been said about the plot of Avanti it seems pointless to go over the synopsis again- but I can say although I am a lover of Horror films, Thrillers and Westerns- it is Avanti that is my favourite film of all time.Avanti is gorgeous to look at and features a beautiful music score. How I wish I could obtain a soundtrack of this delightful score. The scene when Pamela Pigott ( Juliet Mills ) tours the city on a horse drawn carriage and later running from her new found admirers is beautiful with the music so perfect.Also when Pamela and Wendell ( Jack Lemmon ) have their evening meal together , it is again a beautiful music score. Jack Lemmon as the bombastic Wendell Armbruster is as always great. Juliet Mills as Pamela Pigott looks far too gorgeous to be ridiculed by Armbruster but she shines in her finest ever role. However for me the film is stolen completely by Clive Revill as the hotel manager- what a sublime performance. Watch his every movement, his every expression, his delivery of every line.It is a captivating performance, totally exquisite. Clive Revill is an actor sorely neglected by the film world.Billy Wilder's film is so very neglected and it's a pity as this is the perfect film. Watch the beautiful, poignant sequence at the mortuary as Pamela and Wendell view the bodies of their mother and father respectively. And again watch Clive Revill alongside Lemmon and Mills- acting with only movement, expression and not a word. The lighting in this scene is so wonderful, it is dark and depressing with the exception of a shaft of sunlight penetrating the smallest of windows. Wilder manages to wring excellent portrayals out of even the most minor of characters. Watch Avanti and savour the acting, the music and the scenery.
  • Billy Wilder & Jack Lemmon didn't go straight for the belly laughs in this departure from their usual all-out-crazy comedies. Fans of the masters will be pleasantly surprised by this delightful romantic comedy, which captivates the viewer from the very start. Mezmerizing backdrop music plays as though secretly staged by Cupid standing by to assure that lovebirds will find one another. Lemmon plays the son of a mega-wealthy American business man who had to drop everything to fly to Italy in order to claim the father's remains after a car accident. En route to his late father's "final stop", Lemmon runs in to a persistent young woman, who turns out to be the daughter of the woman with whom the father had had a lengthy affair, and who was found lovingly slung around his neck as they both died in said accident.

    The situation seems rather awkward at first, but eventually Lemmon and the young woman begin following into the exact same steps their departed parents had done years earlier. The picture is completed by a brilliant supporting cast of hotel personnel and colorful locals. The performance of the multi-talented and ever-present-minded hotel manager was Oscar worthy.

    Listening to the testimony of all people asked, Lemmon learns that his late father and his "friend" were viewed as Royalty, nothing less than figures from a fairy tale. The concluding scenes are the final touches to a most enchanting romantic comedy, one that has few rivals in its category. Billy Wilder has done it again. What he missed in big laughs, he made up in many magic moments and gentle pressures to your tear glands. One of the very best out there. Belissima!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILERS

    There is a general theory in the world today that we will one day evolve into our parents. As one man might become like his father, as might a woman become like her mother. This is perhaps one aspect of the beautiful film that is "Avanti!".

    In this film, Wendell Armbuster Junior (the always brilliant Jack Lemmon) has travelled to Italy to pick up the recently deceased body of his father. Running on occasion into an English woman by the name of Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills), Wendell experiences the beauty of the small Isle Of Ischia as a friendship develops with the neurotic Miss Piggott.

    The beauty of "Avanti" is it's simplicity. Jack Lemmon travels to Italy as one man, and leaves another. Learning the truth behind his fathers visits to Ischia, Lemmon slowly begins to emulate his father and fall for his father's lover's daughter. Taught to relax and enjoy life, Lemmon's character develops from a mad, rushing, rude businessman into a friendly romantic with a lust for life. Juliet Mills' Miss Piggott equally changes as she develops from a paranoid, unhappy, diet obsessed, nut into a happy, laid back, beautiful woman with an equal love for life as Lemmon. Together the couple work beautifully together, firstly sparring and later uniting.

    This film is wonderful for many reasons. As well as the aforementioned change amongst the starring cast, Clive Revill as the hotel manager Carlo Carlucci is superb and has some of the films funniest lines. Added to the acting abilities, the brilliant direction of Billy Wilder and already looking like a piece of genius.

    Ultimately though, as well as the acting and directing, the three things which really make this film stand out are the often hilarious script, the stunning, addictive soundtrack and the picturesque views. After watching "Avanti", the one thing most viewers want is to instantly be transported away from where ever they are, to the beautiful landscapes of the Italian Islands. With glorious sunshine, rocks in the water where you can relax and watch the Sun come up, and classical buildings, the impression is that the people to come out of this film the best were the tourist trade of this beautiful Isle.

    Truth be told, there's hardly any criticism which can be given to this film. Starting brilliantly from the offset, there's no slow start, just like there's no awkward ending. The only negative aspect, perhaps, is that it makes us wish we were somewhere else. Even this though is not as much a negative as a frustration. "Avanti" is an amazing film which makes us smile and makes us laugh. It reminds us of the beauty of the world, and it reminds us of how great life can be. This is one for the ages.
  • The great team of actor Jack Lemmon and director Billy Wilder create yet another classic in their repetoire of great films. In AVANTI! (which means "forward" in Italian), Lemmon plays Armbruster, a snobby American executive who travels to Italy to reclaim the body of his father after the latter dies of an autowreck. Little did Armbruster

    know that his old man had a companion with him, a British lady whose daughter Pamela (Juliet Mills) is also present to claim her body. Though antagonists at first, Armbruster and Pamela are drawn together because of their parents' mutual interest. With a rich Italian

    landscape (complete with an awesome view of the Mediterrean Sea), plus a typically great performance by Lemmon and a well-played one by Mills, make this a terrific romance flick.
  • The arrogant and rude Vice-President of the Armbruster Industries Wendell Armbruster, Jr. (Jack Lemmon) travels to Ischia, in Italy, to bring the body of his father Wendell Armbruster, Sr., who died in a suddenly and tragic accident while driving on a road, back to Baltimore. During his trip, the British woman Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills) tries to start a conversation with him, but the impolite executive does not give a chance to her. In Ischia, the manager of Hotel Excelsior Carlo Carlucci (Clive Revill) welcomes Wendell telling that it is a place that heals everything; he helps him with the Italian bureaucracy and to get a sealed zinc casket in Amalfi to release the corpse from the morgue. When Wendell meets Pamela in the hotel, he discovers that his father and her mother had been lovers for ten years and they had met each other every year from July 15th to August 15th. Wendell offers to help Pamela, who is needy and has weight problem, and they decide to follow the routine of his father and their mother, finding why the couple had had a so long love affair.

    "Avanti!" is another delightful movie of the genius Billy Wilder. This witty, ironic and dramatic romantic comedy has another partnership with Jack Lemmon in the lead role of a rude and tough executive that is surprised with the secret relief valve of his father's life in the wonderful Italy. The sweet and charming Juliet Mills is perfect in the role of the complexed and needy Pamela. And Clive Revill is fantastic in the role of an experienced hotel manager that fixes everything in the Hotel Excelsior and his performance deserved a nomination to the Oscar. The plot is supported by magnificent landscapes and one of the most beautiful soundtracks of the cinema history. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "Avanti … Amantes Á Italiana" ("Avanti ...Italian Lovers")
  • Warning: Spoilers
    'Avanti', Billy Wilder's last notable film, is defined by absence. Most obviously so in the case of the central couple, playing out their relationship in the shadow of the dead parents they have come to bury, an absence comically mirrored when their corpses are snatched by the disgruntled peasants on whose farm their car crashed.

    It is also the insistent absence of the home Armbruster has temporarily left behind, intruding not only in the phone calls regularly interrupting his burgeoning relationship with Pamela, but in his personality, his worries as an executive and the soul-destroying banality of his marriage resulting in the raging black hole that arrives in Italy, condescending and insulting everything in sight.

    The irony of this film is that these two absences cancel each other out, and give Armbruster a definite gain, the return of his humanity. Again, this is comically mirrored in Pamela's desire to lose weight, her gaining pounds in direct proportion to her happiness.

    Once again, Wilder is concerned with double lives, that gaping chasm between duty and desire. Cynical as ever, he finds that the only way to reconcile the two, to stay true to yourself, is to deceive; curative adultery. The romance in this romantic comedy is sublime if you are willing to give into it - and I do, every time - but Wilder's vision hasn't softened.

    Mr Ambruster Sr.'s month-long trips for extra-marital succour did not make him a better, or more egalitarian human being. The double life for him was what it has always been for successful men where society is based on a rigid code of morality, or bourgeois respectability. He might have been a dear old lover in Italy, but in America he remained a consummate hypocrite, upholding phoney religious ideals, hobnobbing with high-ranking government officials engaged in bombing Asian civilians, running his huge multi-national with Nixonian corruption, treating his Third-World employees like dirt.

    The double life celebrated at the end on an ironical wave of sentiment is an ingeniously American, two-faced compartmentalising of duty and desire - instead of repressing one and letting it get out of violent hand, it is pushed somewhere else, indulged in its proper place, and the status quo, so painstakingly defended by hotel director Carlucci, remains static.

    This is not to suggest that Armbruster will follow this route; maybe he will become a genuinely more decent person; but the film has been paralleling his move towards to his father to the point where he ritually imitates him (like a ghost?). His first act on reaching America will be a massive act of deceit, burying a Mafia lackey in front of Kissinger, but this subversive act will be known only to three people. There will be no apple carts turned. So the familiar Wilder transformation scene on the plane - where Armbruster changes suits with Dr Fleischmann - and the Wilderean prevalance of mirrors suggest not that Armbruster will transform his personality, but that he will become adept at living two lives, literally wearing two suits.

    'Avanti' has always been my favourite Wilder film (although it's now been surpassed by 'Private life of Sherlock Holmes'), but I can understand why people might want to resist it - it is based on a play, and wallows in, rather than trying to transcend, its theatricality, although there is a complex pattern of visual echoes (e.g. opening windows to let in the sun at hotel and morgue). Its mixture of farce, black comedy and romance will not be to every taste, and some may feel the sentimental manipulation too much, although I hope I've showed how Wilder manipulates this. Others might find the usual Wilder trading in stereotypes worrying.

    In its defence, I can only offer the non-cinematic virtues of strong characterisation; brilliant acting (Clive Revill as Carlucci is particularly cherishable); a tonal balance rare in Wilder; cleverly worked out situations; and bellyachingly funny dialogue. The less 'relevant' Wilder became, the more he relaxed his need to breathlessly wisecrack, and these late works seem to me much more satisfactory, and have dated much better. Look at the scene where Armbruster and Pamela identify their parents' bodies like a wedding ceremony, a brilliant encapsulation of Wilder's complex art.
  • Avanti is many things and this is why it has and may never receive the acclaim it deserves. Some may dismiss it or indeed try to define it simply as a rom-com. It is SO much more. It is a love story and a very moving one at that. It is a farce. It is a more straight forward comedy. It is a delightful and dexterous comedy-Film that combines European and American cultures and for once melds them beautifully. Lemmon gives one of his best performances, whilst Juliet Mills gives the performance of her career. Clive Revill almost steals the film, and all the supporting Actors are superb. How Juliet Mills & Jack Lemmon did not only not get nominated but not win Oscars for Avanti! is beyond me. And right the way through the writing is superb and soaring above all of it the class, the quality, the brilliance of one of the great Film-makers of all time, Billy Wilder. This film is for adults, it is not a family movie, and it's all the better for it. It's brave, bold and deeply funny and humane. You really would have to be deeply cynical and appallingly humourless not to find this Film funny and moving. Got get it on DVD today, I'd be astonished if you don't make a life-long friend with this movie once you've watched it.
  • This movie is somewhat long, especially if you watch it on TV with commercials, but it stays fresh and you never want it to be over. Jack Lemon at first is such a prig you wonder that Juliet Mills will ever have anything to do with him, but of course all ends well, with Lemon providing the comic focus. My favorite line in the movie occurs when the valet Bruno has been attempting to blackmail Lemon with nude pictures of his father. Lemon, not knowing Bruno has just been killed by his mistress complains to the manager, and ends by saying Bruno should be shot. The manager assures him that it has already been taken care of. What Service!
  • I have to admit that I am usually more into movies like Fight Club or Lord of the Rings and so I watched Avanti only because there was really nothing else on TV and I was too lazy to put in a DVD.

    And then something magic happened: I got totally sucked into this movie, up to the point that I had tears in my eyes in the final scene.

    Jack Lemmon has always been a great actor, but in this movie he's absolutely awesome. Juliet Mills is beautiful, charming and Clive Revill as omnipresent hotel director with dozens of relatives is simply hilarious.

    And the story... Well, if you didn't believe in love before, then Billy Wilder shows you that it really does exist - and that it does not matter who you are and where you come from. Only the moment counts.

    Don't make the mistake to ignore this jewel just because it might be a bit older or because you think romantic comedies are just for girls. This movie has everything cinema is about and I thank Billy Wilder for creating it.
  • Full of wit and warmth, this movie is Billy Wilder's best and one of the most delightful movies ever to have come out of Hollywood! Good Lemmon and Mills, but Clive Revill is absolutely delicious and Edward Andrews does a fine turn too. I never see a daffodil without thinking of this film....
  • At the 70s, people took much more care of the characters than today !! It is not a comedy where you can laugh aloud. But you have a smile on your face all the time you watch this movie ! In a way, this movie makes you happy !! Especially Jack Lemmon is a great actor !!
  • This amusing motion picture deals with a rich businessman named Wendel Ambruster , a frenzied Jack Lemmon , heads to Italy to arrange for the return of his tycoon-father's corpse , dead while on vacation , only to discover dad died with his mistress of long standing. The dyspectic businessman discovers daddy has been romancing a mistress these many years ago and he finds himself falling in love with the woman's daughter . Later on , the stuffy millionaire is seduced by Italian lifestyle and the charms of an attractive Juliet Mills .

    Enjoyable , too long and fun-filled comedy which neatly combines humor , mirth , entertaining situations and amusement . Based on playwright by Samuel Taylor , being well adapted by Billy Wilder and his usual I.A.L. Diamond . Magnificent performances from Jack Lemmon as angst-ridden middle-aged man and Juliet Mills more relaxed and enticing than ever . Furthermore , a splendid secondary cast as a Clive Revill and Edward Andrews who have never been better ; plus a variety of Italian support cast who makes sympathetic interpretations . Colorful and shimmer cinematography under continental sunshine filmed on location in Amalfi Coast , Sorrento , Naples , Campany , Italy . Emotive and lively musical score full of Italian songs and Mediterranean sounds by Carlo Rustichelli . This is a fine film but inferior to Wilder's former works ; it belong his last period when realized nice though unsuccessful movies as ¨Buddy buddy¨,¨Fedora¨ , ¨Front page¨and ¨Secret life of Sherlock Holmes¨. Rating : Good , though overlength but still completely entertaining .
  • This charming and whimsical flick has been a favorite of mine for years, and I am puzzled as to why it so neglected. There are five main reasons the film works so well, not necessarily in order of importance: 1) the cinematography of the isle of Ischia 2) Billy Wilder's direction 3) Jack Lemmon 4) Wilder's and Diamond's script 5) Clive Revill as the hotel manager. Little can be added to the generally favorable comments found here. My favorite scene: Wendell Armbruster's introduction to the Trotta family ("That's a lotta Trottas!"). Well worth a see!
  • Jack Lemmon is wonderful as the self-centered American businessman who gradually becomes more sensitive to the plight of fellow traveler Juliet Mills, who gives a very sensitive performance. Clive Revill's wry performance as the hotelier Carlucci is a delight. The location scenery is lush and gorgeous. The more conservative viewers may have a problem with the nudity in this movie, but it's still a good find. And I agree with Leonard Maltin that it's sadly underrated. It's well worth a look.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think it would be fair to call me a fan of Jack Lemmon's. I admired him because he could do comedy or drama equally well. I don't think I ever laughed out loud as much as I did watching "The Out Of Towners", and who could forget "The Odd Couple". I loved him in "Tribute". And so many others. But I thought this movie stunk to high heaven. And having to see him nude twice...well...was the last straw. But seriously (well, really, that was seriously), there were few actors who could play sarcasm, frustration, and other negative emotions better than Lemmon, and I could always enjoy it. Well, not always. Not here. He just came across here as being mean-spirited.

    I could say similar about Billy Wilder. However, for me, Billy Wilder was usually either hit or miss...and this, like "Kiss Me Stupid" (with my favorite performer Dean Martin) was a miss. It seemed like like one of those off-color jokes that went on way too long (really, this film didn't need to last 2 hours and 20 minutes.

    In terms of the other actors, Juliet Mills was pretty decent here. Clive Revill as the manager of the hotel was mildly entertaining. Long before this film came out I tired of Edward Andrews in almost any role.

    The problem with the plot, at least to me, was that although the film didn't have just one punch line (the infidelity of the father) it almost seemed that way. That's why, again for me, it got fairly tedious fairly quickly.

    I will remember Jack Lemmon with fondness. But not for this film.
  • After decades of dishing out enough cynicism to make a clergyman lose all faith in humanity, I'm almost glad that, by 1972, director Billy Wilder and co-screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond had gotten most of it out of their system. Wilder's fifth film with Jack Lemmon, 'Avanti! (1972),' can only be described as a pleasant comedy – so pleasant, in fact, that our lead character commits adultery seemingly out of politeness. There are, of course, elements of satire concerning foreign policy and the miles of red-tape surrounding international commerce, but the overwhelming emotional tone is one of bittersweet fulfillment. This is a great director approaching the twilight of his life and career, and finally recognising that there is, after all, much goodness in this world, even if one must travel to Italy in order to experience it. Nevertheless, the three major creative talents (Wilder, Diamond and Lemmon) would subsequently return to cynical quickfire screwball with 'The Front Page (1974),' an adaptation of the same play that spawned Howard Hawks' 'His Girl Friday (1940).'

    Jack Lemmon plays Wendell Armbruster, Jr, a wealthy American businessman who boards the first plane to Italy following the news of his father's death. Wendell Armbruster, Sr was killed in an automobile accident while on his annual pilgrimage to the Grand Hotel Excelsior, where he goes, he says, to rejuvenate in their famous Italian mud baths. It doesn't take long, however, for Wendell to discover that his much-respected father had not died alone, and that his secret English mistress of ten years had also perished when their vehicle ploughed off a winding road and into a vineyard. Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills), the mistress' open-minded daughter, has also arrived in the country to claim her mother's body, and Wendell treats her poorly, his steadfast morals refusing to acknowledge their parents' liaison for the great love that it was. As the two corpses become embroiled in endless lengths of red tape – including the need to acquire two zinc-lined coffins, and no shortage of obscure contracts to be signed – Wendell and Pamela begin to understand their close connection, and form a touching relationship of their own.

    Though the two leads both deliver sterling comedic performances, Clive Revill is undoubtedly the film's highlight as Carlo Carlucci, the world's most accommodating hotel manager. Blessed with political connections of all kinds, and an inability to sleep until the hotel's off-season, Carlo darts endlessly across town to tie up all the loose ends, apparently expecting nothing in return – he's probably Wilder's all-time nicest comedic creation. The narrative style is similar to that of Arthur Hiller's 'The Out of Towners (1970),' in that the story is comprised of many consistently-mounting setbacks, though the overall effect is far less frustrating for the audience and spares sufficient time to allow some important character development. There is also a rather unnecessary subplot involving a deported American immigrant and his disturbingly-masculine girlfriend, and the film, however nice its intentions, does run about half an hour overtime. Nevertheless, 'Avanti!' is a mature romantic comedy with memorable performances and a very enjoyable story; I wouldn't be surprised if it warms to me greatly with repeat viewings.
  • Reefmonkey10 January 2020
    I was hoping for a Wilder/Lemmon collaboration with the madcap wit of Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, or Irma la Douce, but this was neither of their best work. The script was overly long, direction off, and Lemmon's usual stuffy but loveable character came off more sour than usual. His transformation from clucking his tongue at his father's infidelity, to cheating on his own wife, whom he seems to love dearly at the beginning of the film, doesn't develop believably, nor does it make him a more endearing character. The subplot of the blackmailing bellhop and his jealous chambermaid girlfriend was an inane distraction laced with somewhat offensive stereotypes. Even the cinematography didn't do a great job of romanticizing Italy, and the hotel interior shots were so obviously soundstage sets that they spoiled the illusion of being on the coast. And I got tired of hearing people talk about how chubby Juliet Mills's character is supposed to be, especially when she shows everything during the skinnydipping scene, it's clear she was not overweight by any stretch.
  • suso01es21 June 2001
    Any film by Billy Wilder can be called a masterpiece, but this is probably the one that joins in perfect proportions all the features in Mr. Wilder works: humor (sometimes black), tenderness, splendid actors and actresses, a fast rhythm and lots of irony. In addition, on "Avanti" there are gorgeous Italian locations and wonderful musics. Who could ask for more?
  • This is one of Billy Wilder's lesser known films and when it opened in the early 1970's it was dismissed by most critics. One of the reasons is it's incredible length. Story is about an American businessman named Wendell Armbruster (Jack Lemmon) who travels to Italy to claim the body of his father who has died in a car crash. He wants the body transported back to the states immediately so that he can have a big funeral on closed circuit television for his company. When he arrives he meets Carlucci (Clive Revill) who is the manager of the hotel that his father stays at and he is informed that his father did not die alone in the car and he meets Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills). Pamela's mother also died in the car and Wendell discovers that his father has been having an affair for the last ten years. Both Wendell and Pamela have a difficult time getting the bodies ready to be shipped because special coffins have to be ordered and transportation forms have to be signed by judges that are nowhere to be found. Pamela complains about her weight and she also suggests that both bodies stay in Italy to be buried but Wendell objects. Then both bodies are stolen and held for ransom but back at the hotel a bellhop named Bruno (Gianfranco Barra) has photo's and is blackmailing Wendell because he wants a visa to go back to America. This film was made after Billy Wilder's best years but he was still a very good director and would go on to direct some very good films. This is not one of his best although it's not a bad film. The big thing that hurts the film is it's two and a half hour length! Did this really have to be 2 1/2 hours long? I can't imagine sitting in a theater watching a fairly good romantic/comedy for that long and I've sat through a lot of long films. There are some scenes that just go on too long and at certain points the film would start to meander. But I am giving this a mild recommendation and one reason would be that this definitely plays better when your at home watching it on television. Another plus for this film is the wonderful performance of Revill. His character is vital to the story and he actually helps hold the film together. We all should be so lucky to have a gentleman like this watching our backs! And I thought Lemmon had good chemistry with Mills. She never got enough opportunities in her career to show what a good actress she is. And I have one thing to say about the nudity that was asked of her in this film. I don't care if it's not proper to say this but her nudity was one of the highlights of the film. As a man who grew up in the 60's and 70's and watched "Nanny and the Professor" this was really something to behold. I thought she looked beautiful and I think it was in the film to show the viewers that her character shouldn't complain too much about her weight. Like in all of Wilder's films the dialogue is sharp and crisp, "That's a lot of Trotta's"! Far from being one of Wilder's better films but the performances by Lemmon, Mills and Revill make up for the overlong story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Warning: A possible spoiler about the ending in my comments.

    I like Billy Wilder movies and Jack Lemmon comedies, but this film was not the romantic comedy I had hoped for. I was looking for a movie with characters that I could like and an ending which made me feel good. This was not such a movie. To begin with, Lemmon's character was positively unlikable for most of the movie. Also, the premise of the movie was not very nice if one thinks about it: both he and his father cheated on their wives with no reason given except that they wanted to. This movie would have been much more enjoyable if the premise had involved men who were single, divorced, or widowed: available for a true love affair, not a yearly tryst. Who wants to see lovers with no real future? Not I. Another thing, Mills obsesses about being overweight throughout the film. Please, spare me. Mills is the best thing in this film. She's very pleasant to look at, and her character is nice. Wilder's directing was off in this movie. All of the scenes in "The Apartment" rang true. Not so in this movie. Some were overdone and some were just off. One can try to like this movie, but really it's a disappointment.
  • s_1087925 August 2008
    If you have ever been to Italy, you will love the jokes in this movie that comically describe Italian ways (bureaucracy, long lunch hour, dramatic love behavior), but also admire them (love to good food, music etc.) You will also love the beauty of the setting: gorgeous Italian places, the sea, fishing boats, lively streets and amusing characters. This movie depicts what a good life consists of and it does it in a comic way, so you feel great while watching this movie, even tough there is death, and mourning and trips to the morgue. All these can be beautiful and romantic including the dying itself ("if happened during a high season"). It is also stimulating to see how "perfectly toned body syndrome" was not present in 1972, and the main characters display without guilt their bodies which they love just the way they are.
  • Petey-101 September 2000
    Jack Lemmon plays Wendell Armbruster who goes to pick up his father's body in Italy.In Italy he finds out that his father has had a relationship with the mother of Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills).And it doesn't take long when something starts happening between Pamela and Wendell.Avanti! from 1972 is a wonderful Billy Wilder comedy.Jack Lemmon is great as always and Juliet Mills does also fine job in the movie.Italy has also a big part in the movie.It's nice to watch the Italian scenery.Watch Avanti! and enjoy it!
  • dbdumonteil15 December 2002
    From "kiss me stupid" onwards ,all Billy Wilder's movies were commercial failures,which leads cinebuffs to overlook them.This final phase of his career showed as much wit,as much humor,as much genius as in the former greater glories.

    The follow-up to "the private life of Sherlock Holmes ",the best Wilder of this late period (the prologue in the plane is a nod to the scene with the gay dancers in Sherlock),"Avanti " is a delightful,wonderful first-rate comedy ,with all that we cruelly lack in today's ponderous and vulgar so-called funny movies.The movie was dismissed by some "serious" critics for the caricature of Italy and Italians.Of course it is!Wilder's Italy exists no more than the "Irma la Douce" France ...or the "some like it hot" America.All his comedies are fables in which Wilder shows the man as he is and not as he should be!The place where he moves does not matter.

    Wilder/Diamond's dialogue is as witty as funny as ever.Puns,misunderstandings,stabs at "last tango in Paris" "love story" ,maffia movies,American way of life -because ,all in all,the country which is mistreated is not Italy,it's Wilder's own country-,and even the Foreign Service, abound.And like in almost Wilder's comedies ,drama is not far away.An infinite nostalgia,even sadness grabs the viewer when Mills is left alone with the two dead bodies and her daffodils bouquets ,when Lemmon tries to pull together the photographs .A reductio ad absurdum of how illicit love can prove disinterested and finally the thrill of it all.While Juliet Mills 's character turns more and more physically attractive,as the movie progresses,Lemmon's one who was rather disagreeable wins over the audience little by little.The two actors are of one mind in the final thirty minutes.And they marvelously play,abetted by a colorful and fine supporting cast.

    Wilder's career was not over afterwards.Often dismissed as a "sunset boulevard" ,"Fedora"(1976) should be restored to favor as well.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jack Lemmon is an American businessman who is travelling to Italy to collect the body of his father, who died while on holiday there. On the way he meets Juliet Mills,a Whimsical young Englishwoman who is going to collect the body of her mother, who it turns out was having a long term affair with Lemmon's father. Lemmon is shocked to learn of his father's infidelity but soon gets used to the idea,and seems to take a shine to the fey Miss Mills. There are some complications regarding the bodies of their dead parents which might have been amusing, but instead fizzle out rather tamely. The film goes on and on, taking a long time to tell a not very interesting story. Adultery is great fun and hurts nobody seems to be the rather dubious message of this film, The wife's feelings are not even touched on, and a phone conversation with Lemmon's wife which might have led somewhere, doesn't. Many other reviews have praised this is a romantic comedy, but it is not romantic and it is not funny. I understand the play this film was based on was a failure, and it's not hard to see why.
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