Fantasmi a Roma (1961)

Article 2159 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-12-2007
Posting Date: 7-11-2007
Directed by Antonio Pietrangeli
Featuring Marcello Mastroianni, Belinda Lee, Sandra Milo

When a prince dies from a freak water heater accident, his nephew plans to sell his palace to real estate speculators. However, the ghosts that inhabit the palace plot to prevent the sale from happening.

I had to check several sources to figure out the plot of this one; my copy is in Italian without subtitles. As a result, I can’t say just how amusing this comedy is, but I didn’t find it a waste of time. It’s visually creative and well acted, some of the sight gags are quite amusing, and it has a lightness of touch very reminiscent of Rene Clair. I also have to give special credit to Marcello Mastroianni who plays three roles here; I knew he was playing one of the ghosts, but was unaware that he was playing two other roles as well; the movie is also devoid of the sort of give-away moments when movies have an actor in several roles. All in all, it struck me as quite charming, and I hope someday to see a subtitled version.



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