10 February 2020 | brogmiller
I wish my wife would disappear.
This is the first major collaboration between Dino Risi and Alberto Sordi with the magnificent 'La Vita Difficile' still to come. Sordi's character here is not unlike the role he was to play in de Sica's masterpiece 'Il Boom', that of an absurd little man suffering from delusions of adequacy.
Sordi must have blessed the day he encountered writer Rodolpho Sonego who has again turned up trumps. Sonego has seemingly based this story on the notorious Fenaroli case of 1958 in which an industrialist allegedly murdered his wife so as to collect on the insurance. Needless to say the case kept Italians enthralled and over 20,000 waited outside the courtroom to hear the verdict.
Sordi's character in this is ecstatic when he hears that his smarter and richer wife has perished in a train accident. To his horror she survives which prompts him to take matters into his own hands.....
There are laughs galore here but as with so many films of the genre Commedia all'Italiana this has a dark side and the scenes where he and his cronies plan her death with military precision are quite chilling.
Sordi's performance never misses a beat and Franca Valeri is pitch-perfect as his wife.
There is also of course the customary collection of bimbos and buffoons that populate films of this type.
During the Fenaroli trial one commentator observed that the murderer was not motivated by financial gain but by hatred of his wife who had come to see her husband for what he really was, a loser. This, I am sure, will strike a chord with many married couples and certainly contributes to the effectiveness of this excellent satire.