10 April 2014 | EdgarST
Static musical melodrama
A weak, static dramatic comedy about stage entertainers in Italy after World War I, ranging from the vaudeville comic and the tango dancers, to the singer in sexy clothes and the fiery dancer. Director Mario Bonnard seems more concerned with the melodramatic elements of the story of how Gastone (Alberto Sordi), an actor who dreams of fame, nurtures a beautiful maid and dancing student (Anna Maria Ferrero), whom he plans to use for his own benefit, with unexpected results. The director seems literally far too distanced from the spectacle itself, filming mostly all numbers in long shots and avoiding close-ups of his actors. You know that a production is creatively in trouble, when you have sexy Chelo Alonso in a guest appearance and she is either filmed from the back, or simply left out of the frame. In the only musical number she shares with Sordi, Bonnard and editor Eraldo da Roma opted to show Sordi's reactions instead of Chelo's provocations through dancing. And we are talking here about a beautiful woman who was a star at the Folies Bergère in Paris. The rest of the musical numbers are uninspired and routine, and Gastone's predicaments seem all too uninteresting.