16 January 2006 | debblyst
Brancaleone meets M*A*S*H* in Italian nonsense B-comedy
Saw this some 20 years ago. Box-office hit Italian B-comedy (it generated 3 sequels) following the nonsense-flavor of "L'Armata Brancaleone" (got the name "Buttiglione"?), proving the huge impact of Monicelli's masterpiece in Italian comedies from the mid-60s to the late 70s. Imagine the imbroglios of Brancaleone and the anti-war iconoclasm of M*A*S*H* transposed to an Italian army corps in WW2, lower the level of the gags, script, budget and direction, and there you have it. "Buttiglione" is a typical comedy of the "Italian self-mockery" sub-genre: the target is to make fun of what is arguably perceived as the "archetypal Italian male behavior" - lazy, disorganized, cowardly, allergic to work, rebellious towards hierarchy, emotionally immature, mother-fixated, sex-starved...
I remember laughing occasionally with the overall silliness, though few memories are left, and it was certainly nothing very original. But most impressive of all, I still remember the title song: "Buttiglione... Buttiglione...!!" (to be sung in the same bravura style as "Branca Branca Branca ....Leon Leon Leon"!!). Dim-witted but harmless pastime; didn't hurt.