I have watched (i.e. suffered through) any number of 1970's continental European sex comedies, and generally the best of that genre ("best" being a very relative term here) are the "period" comedies like this one about the famous Italian lover Casanova. This movie, though cheap by Hollywood standards, is relatively big-budget for a European sex comedy and features an actual bonafide star in Tony Curtis. Other reviewers may have found it "sad" to see an actor of Curtis' stature in a movie like this, but he looks like he was genuinely having a good time playing two different roles, and surrounded by some of the most sumptuous beauties in Europe at the time. In a way this kind of reminded of Richard Burton's version of "Bluebeard"--it's not a great movie by any means, but it's certainly lively and entertaining.
The infamous lover Giacomo Casanova (Tony Curtis) escapes from a prison along with another petty criminal, "Giacomino" (also Tony Curtis), who looks just like him. The conceit here is that while the legendary Casanova is a master at seducing women, he's not such a master at satisfying them after years in prison. However, "Giacomino", who naturally keeps getting mistaken for Casanova, is the opposite (even though he's far more interested in food than sex). This comes in handy when the beautiful wife (Marisa Berenson) of an elderly Middle Eastern caliph demands that Casanova satisfy her if her husband is to approve an "oil" deal (rose oil actually since this is supposedly the eighteenth century)and threatens to take his manhood if he fails to do so. In the meantime, both Casanova and his double fall into the clutches of various lustful, married noblewomen, played by the likes of Marisa Mell, Sylva Koscina and Britt Ekland, with usually sexy and occasionally funny results.
Naturally, there's a lot of female nudity here, not so much by the leads (with the notable exception of the then-fortysomething but very impressive Koscina), but by many of the supporting actresses including African-American actress Jeannie Bell as a nubian slave (nobody ever accused European exploitation filmmakers of political correctness),and Olivia Pascal and Katia Christian as some not-so-innocent novice nuns one of our heroes accidentally gets locked in a convent cell with. The mistaken-identity plot and bedroom farce comedy generally works pretty well with the exception of some"modern" jokes about "oil" shortages and American Express cards, which really date the movie far more than the 18th century setting. There's also a couple dumb gags referencing Curtis' most famous film "Some Like It Hot" (yes, at one point the faded Hollywood star does cross-dress). Even without the lame jokes though, this probably won't endear itself to serious Tony Curtis fans, but I thought it was OK.
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