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  • Applying a simplistic, hypocritical morality to this sleazy tale, the filmmaker (Fernando di Leo) gets to have it both ways. His camera captures every lurid detail of multiple sex scenes and takes every opportunity to savor the fine flesh of the tasty leads (Gloria Guida and Lilli Carati). He then condemns the women for being "sluts" and brutally reprimands them for their behavior.

    "To Be Twenty" is a highly watchable story about two twenty-year-old free spirits whose youth and naivety bring on their destruction. Ninety per cent of the film graphically depicts the girls in a series of wild and frivolous adventures. Staples of 70's cinema such as drugs, politics, the generation gap, communal living and free sex are thrown into a mix to produce an enjoyable cinematic cocktail that captures the ennui of the period.

    The film's surprising last stanza sounds a mean-spirited warning to women who freely advertise their sexuality without any intention of providing it. It is a nihilistic, barbaric, angry scene of human carnage that echoes the darkest aspects of "Last House on the Left", "Straw Dogs" and "I Spit On Your Grave".

    A recurring song is used to potent effect over the end credits and the lead characters are brought to vivid life by the talented Guida and Carati.

    Recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    WARNING: MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS! Gloria Guida was Miss Teenager in Italy in 1971 before she went on to specialize in frothy sex comedies or sleazy dramas, and preens, pouts and plots her way through her roles like a continental Linda Hayden. In 1975 alone she was in over 7 films, including two more for prolific director Silvio Amadio, best remembered for the ultraviolent giallo Amuck (1973) with Barbara Bouchet and Farley Granger. But Euro-sleaze fans tend to agree her best role was in To Be Twenty (1977), a seedy piece of nihilism from director Fernando Di Leo.

    In the original Italian version Guida and a fellow hitchhiked leave the liberated confines of a hippie commune and end up raped and murdered in the woods; in our English language version the film begins with the girls running through the woods pursued by would-be rapists, then stops abruptly with a freeze frame and the sounds of police sirens to the rescue. Next shot is the girls back on the highway, meeting the hippie commune leader (a nutty German who calls himself 'Shining Ray') they later bunk down with while cruising Rome looking for action.

    Guida generates an amount of sympathy for her character and proves herself to be more than just eye candy; I'm sure this makes her demise in the original Euro version all the more shocking. As for Guida herself, not much was seen of her after the late 70s, and in To Be Twenty it appears high living was taking a toll on her Miss Teenager features. Fortunately for her and her friend they both survive their Rome vacation and are last seen hitting the open road, in what must be one of the weirdest re-edits in the history of exploitation.
  • This movie is available in two versions. The English-language version is a badly-dubbed, waste-of-time sex comedy (not unlike a lot of the films co-lead Gloria Guida was starring in at the time). The Italian version is similarly light-hearted for much of its running time, but it does make some serious commentary on police corruption, the confused politics and ultimate hollowness of the 70's era counterculture, and the reactionary nature of male-dominated rural Italy. The ending is unforgettably brutal, inspired no doubt by films like "Last House on the Left" or "Late Night Trains". Like those films it was quite controversial, and really for the same ironic reason--because you really come to like the two lead characters and care what happens to them. This is no mean feat as Gloria Guida had no real acting talent beyond looking (really) good naked and the other lead, porno-starlet-to-be Lili Carati, was, if anything, even less talented.

    The plot of the movie is rather loose and picaresque. It follows these two "beautiful and p***ed-off" girls as they hitchhike, shoplift, crash at a commune, dabble in prostitution, sell encyclopedias to lecherous university professors, get rousted by the police, and finally meet a tragic end at a roadhouse. Along the way the way they more than fulfill the sexploitation skin quotient and frequently throw themselves at various men who hilariously rebuff them (although despite the famed sexual aggressiveness of Italian men, it is not impossible to believe that they might react this way if the tables were suddenly turned on them). It is this free-spirited sexual aggressiveness that proves to be downfall of the two girls, but this movie is ultimately more touching and tragic than cautionary and moralistic--traditional, male-dominated Italian society certainly doesn't come off to well here.

    The two versions have different discoesque musical arrangements that the characters do sexy, impromptu dances to--the Italian one is kind of catchy but the English-language is about as enjoyable as a barium enema. I would't bother with the English-language version, but the Italian version is definitely a worthwhile little movie.
  • Fernando Di Leo is a director that gets a lot of criticism; and most of it is unfair in my opinion as he's directed a lot of the best Italian crime movies of the seventies, as well as some other curious gems. To Be Twenty is something of a departure from his crime films and doesn't really fit into any of the main genre headings that were popular in seventies Italy; although at a stretch it could be described as a cross between a sex comedy and an exploitation flick. The film is slightly misguided and that is its main problem as on the one hand it's light and breezy, and on the other hand it actually tries to make some points...with mixed results. The plot focuses on two young girls who are both young, hot and angry that meet on a beach. They set off to hitch a lift together and so begins an odyssey as the pair try to create an existence for themselves in a world overridden with sex, perverts and drugs. They manage to find a place to stay but not everything goes to plan and before long, the girls find themselves living a nightmare.

    The tone of the movie is one of the best things about it as the director excellently captures the hippy-style care free atmosphere through the two young girls. The film stars Gloria Guida and Lilli Carati; both of whom serve the movie well in the looks department, especially when their clothes come off, but don't exactly set the film on fire with great acting. However, luckily this is a film that doesn't need great acting to succeed. The plot flows well and the two girls provide likable characters that make the film fun to watch. It's not exactly plot heavy and the film basically follows the girls on their unplanned journey right up until we come to the tragic ending. The ending is actually rather strange as it doesn't fit the tone of the movie and actually looks more like something straight out of a roughie film. However, it is rather powerful and won't be forgotten in a hurry; and the reason for that is mostly down to the way we are made to like the characters throughout the film. Overall, this film probably won't be for everyone's taste; but if you like this sort of stuff, you could do worse.
  • radiobirdma12 September 2016
    Some time in the mid-70s, out-of-luck director Fernando di Leo had a million dollar idea: Why not do a remake of one of the top grossing blockbusters of 1969, with a slightly altered tagline: "Two chicks went looking for Italia and couldn't find it anywhere." And since those chicks would hitchhike across the country to join a hippie community, they didn't even need those pricey motorbikes! The Captain America role went to Euro teen star blonde Gloria Guida, the Billy part to the lesser-known Lilli Carati, a downright stunning brunette literally acting out every single word of her dialogue: „I'm young, hot, and p*ssed off. Does anybody here f*ck?" A radically pessimistic statement from the bleak opening beach scene to the unforeseeable (and utterly disgusting) climax, Avere vent'anni bites off more than di Leo could chew: His counterculture swan song about two female libertines who inescapably will go to the dogs never finds a rhythm, a loose, sloppy concoction of scenes that don't blend, a programmatic reading from Valerie Solanas's SCUM manifesto („A pip-squeak with dysfunctional femininity that despises women: That is man.") remaining fairly more than a nod to the feminist zeitgeist in Fernando's T&A exploitation circus. Two stars for the boisterous performance of the lead actresses, reciprocating between vulnerability, sexual aggression, and pure, breathless joie de vivre, especially in the dance scene on the piazza; another one for Ray Lovelock's fine interpretation of a disenchanted druggie, and one and a half for the super catchy theme song. Ah, and as for Signorina Carati: Eat your heart out, Dennis Hopper.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are two versions of this film by di leo,a good reliable italian director of usually hard boiled detective films,. The american one has the ending toned down and some sex secenes shortened,the lesbian scenes between Carati and Guida is missing.The opening scene in the italian version has full frontals,missing from the american version.

    But the big difference is the ending,in the italian version it comes out of the blue.Its nasty vicious and never ever to be forgotten. So you have been warned.THat scene where the camera pulls away from the violated dead naked bodies in the woods,never to be forgotten
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ...if it had a better storyline. Avere vent'anni (or "2b20") has a cult movie status. Until it was released in DVD few years ago with much claim and wawings by the cinema of genres lover. Originally released in 1978 2b20 was a complete failure and the producer forced the director Di Leo to change the final ending. But this resulted in nothing and the movie fell in forgotten unless for the lesbian scene between Gloria Guida and Lilli Carati, the most beautiful and sexy actresses of the Italian cinema in the 70's, both retired for good, the first as the wife of ultra famous Italian ecletic showman Johnny Dorelli, the second victim of terrible personal issues. I believe Di Leo wanted to show how the decadent society kills the young spirits like raping them. The sense of the final scene is that there is no space for the freewill and the spirit is killed by the dusty tradition. As usual Fernando Di Leo uses the women body to criticize the male stupidity, insecurity. But the dark mood of the end of the movie have nothing to share with the comedy of the whole movie. In this movie the main characters of the two girls make no sympathy to the audience but their brutal death will make u sad. Anyways they are no heroes for the director. It seems that all the society and all the people are not worth a cent, not even the two girls, they die as they were only a minority. It is very difficult to find a focal point in the movie. There is simply not storyline, the events have no importance in the whole movie. The director seems riding the line between an intellectual protest to the society (that the counterculture was a total failure) and a commercial sexy movie. Probably a major disappointment for the director himself this is a movie nice to see by the comedy side. Lot of nice jokes, good direction, scenes that makes sense on their own. Unfortunately there is no consequentiality hence the spectator has no sense of time. It looks like a telefilm, made of episodes, with the same characters, but with different subjects. The final dark ending, the rape, is demonstrating that the same Di Leo didn't even know if this was an intellectual research on the failure of counterculture and all kind of human cultures, or just a show of the beautiful bodies of the two actresses to the audience, who were the top at the moment. Again the big regret is the total lack of a storyline. This is not new in Di Leo's movie; especially in the poliziesco genre the storyline is usual simple and easy, like the sentiment of human beings and in fact he's more interested in characters psychology. But in Avere Vent'Anni he is not able to give credibility to the events, the time is not stressed in any way, and the action is episodic. Despite this Di Leo doesn't loose a pinch of his screenplay writer genius. The characters speak common language, not a Shakespearean litany, he puts words that sound real. The directing is perfect, also in this minor movie you can appreciate how good was the Italian director. The Actors: it seems that the director shaped the personality of the two main characters on the two girls. Guida and Carati pierce the screen, they have a beautiful photogenic face, but they are not good actress at all, and need to be dubbed. While the character of Carati is a though leading spirit, the one of Guida is humble, silent. I don't know if this is due to the real capability of the two actresses, I've seen many movies and they provide the same expressions of this films. The character try to live their life at the limit, to be real humans that take decision, but the two actresses are not able to give a better impression than being an inflating doll, and the idea of the free girls of the director is totally reversed by their poor acting! Some kind of importance has the character played by Ray Lovelock, who is an ex teacher disappointed by the culture and the society who turned a junkie. Vittorio Caprioli is "il Nazariota", the Sai Baba wannabe, the chief of the commune. He's old, fat, and a little dumb, and looks always concerned of the economic part of the commune, and never about the spiritual. He witnesses the end of counterculture, and the decadence of those principles that made dream the young guys in early 70's. Caprioli is a fetish actor of Di Leo, and he doesn't disappoint. Funny and great as ever. The real good surprise is made by the comedian Giorgio Bracardi, especially famous in his surreal radio performances. Well Bracardi is over the top here and plays the part of the police officer who will send back home the two girls. It's incredible. He is serious, but he can be funny, grotesque is the right word. His facial expressions are exaggerated and this is the funny thing in it. He's so real in the stereotype of the police officer, that he becomes funny.

    This is an average movie. Nice to see and easy to forget about it. Di Leo has done some pictures with no time, real masterpieces fortunately rediscovered by the wise men at the beginning of this century. But Avere vent'anni is definitely not one of them. The movie was low budget and not well orchestrated like the other ones. The Di Leo style is present, but I rate 2b20 as one of his minor films.
  • I have seen a shortened cut of "Avere Vent'Anni" but now I've watched the full-length version twice and there's a lot more to this film than some people seem to think. Fun is poked at bourgeois society, at self-important males doing jobs they think are important (store detectives, police inspectors), at a rich lesbian, at transcendental meditation, in short at many facets of seventies' life in Italy. Even the two female leads come in for their share. The ending can be seen as having nothing to do with the story, but I think there's more to it: while the girls just flit through life taking nothing seriously except having a good time, lurking at almost every corner is the reality of corrupt policemen and unscrupulous gangsters - the nasty side of the real world ... and in the end that will be their downfall.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A pair of free-spirited European girls played by Gloria Guida and Lili Carati hitch-hike to Rome in search of a commune where they can revel in the peace,free sexual love and happiness of the late 1960s. Instead they fall prey to bad vibes and unspeakable sexual violence.Fernando Di Leo's shocking tale is a coming-of-age tragedy laced with drugs,prostitution,sleaze and brutality.The film plays like a cheerful Italian sex comedy with some decent humor and plenty of nudity.However it all climaxes into unflinchingly brutal finale in the woods,where both girls are beaten,raped and murdered.The last sequence is truly ugly and disturbing in its cold depiction of sexual violence.It surely is unforgettable.8 out of 10.
  • There are two reasons to love this flick, well three reasons. Gloria Guida and Lili Carati, plus the big dude who's 'spose to be a spiritual adviser, who's commune is really a front for prostitution and crime. Very much a Steven Seagal lookalike, he provides most of the humour, through his lies and cool front, we almost think the film will take a dangerous turn. You really can't take this disjointed movie seriously even though it's spose to be. Gloria Guida is bloody sexy, and Lil Carati pack some nice goodies. They really love sex, and I love watching them have it. At the start, both are hitching a ride, where they soon wind up at the commune, where we're witness to some quite weird going ons. Carati really has nice, you know, and seems to be the better actress out of the two. Though we're not watching this adult flick (also known as To Be Twenty) for acting ability. An old geezer pharmacist, who needs the girls to show him he's a man again, is the best performer. The girls scarcely get by on stealing stuff, like sandwiches, while also using their beauty. Guida is offered a big proposal by a lesbian talk show host or something, after the commune is raided. If wanting to be serious, this movie has surely misfired on that factor. The more vivacious Carati, and friend, don't mind making out in front of a kneeling Buddhist like figure, face painted like a clown, wearing a forlorn expression that suggests a bad fate, awaits them. The beating track at the film's opening is mesmerizing. A bird watching pic is the purpose, this film mostly serves, thanks to our honeys, Guida, mainly.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The following review contains several spoilers:

    Avere vent'anni or To Be Twenty is a story about two twenty year old women who meet up on beach and instantly have things in common and inevitably become friends.

    Tina who is the feisty and rebellious one and Lia who is more sensible and innocent. The two ladies want to have fun and enjoy life so are looking for liberation and after stealing some food from a local supermarket go on to find a commune for shelter. Whilst they are there all the men apart from the owner appear to be stoned and not capable of doing much especially when the owner says to the girls they can stay there rent free if they sleep with the men. The only other woman at the commune is finding it a struggle to look after three babies.

    Tina and Lia decide they don't want to have to sell themselves in order to stay at the commune and instead decide to sell encyclopedias for the owner in order to continue staying there. They encounter a few strange people with Lia having another young woman who is lesbian makes advances towards her.

    Things change at the commune when a film crew arrive and want to do a documentary on the people living there, only Tina and Lia talk to them and then we get to find out more about their backgrounds which were not pleasant as they grew up. Then they get mixed up within police corruption and the commune is searched for drugs from an apparent tip off which results in the girls being deported.

    There are two versions of this film with the longest running for around 94 minutes, in it's uncut form this is the version you should see which may have English subtitles.

    I wont give away the last fifteen minutes of the film although what started off as a comedy/drama film with some nudity and a pop soundtrack which reflects on the different stages in the women's journeys transcends into a much more debatable topic of what i would class as a thriller of not only how women are represented but also how men can treat them and the consequences of peoples actions.

    Yes after watching the full version of this film people will compare it to several other exploitation films made around its time period although with this one it has three things that make an immediate impact. 1) The women come across as likable characters 2)The justice system in general 3)You can't always have authority or power and retain it.

    For me it had one of the most memorable endings i have ever seen which i would never forget and if the director set out to achieve the maximum impact then i think he did it successfully.

    I would rate this film 6 out of 10.
  • I had seen this before but in the much altered English language version without the the awful denouement of this original cut. Some consider the difficult and explicitly violent end rather inappropriate and not in keeping with the rest of the film. But, Fernando Di Leo was a fine director who also wrote much of the films he made, including this one and most of his films had a strong political stance. His, Caliber 9 is a great crime thriller example and this is a very decent sexploitation one. The lovely Gloria Guida is a bit led astray by the character played by Lilli Carati, as the cheat, steal and generally behave obnoxiously in the name of freedom. I don't know how realistic the commune presented here was in Italy but it doesn't seem like any other I've seen depicted. Even Valerie Solanas' S.C.U.M manifesto gets quoted here in the name of feminism and it is about at this stage (when a film maker is introduced) that we begin to realise what a gigantic swipe the writer/director is taking at the counter culture and its opponents. Nobody comes out of this well and the brilliantly directed ending will haunt for some time.