O.K. NERO (1951)
aka O.K. Nerone, O.K. Neron
Article 2579 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-27-2008
Posting Date: 9-4-2008
Directed by Carlo Campanini, Walter Chiari, Silvana Pampanini
Two American servicemen are hit over the head while visiting Rome, and are transported back to Roman times during the time of Nero. Hilarity ensues.
Don’t let the “American servicemen” bit above fool you; this is an Italian comedy, albeit one that makes extensive use of “Oh Susanna” and “Yankee Doodle” in the soundtrack. Fortunately, my copy of the movie is dubbed; unfortunately, it’s dubbed into French. So, what’s it like? It’s exactly what I would expect an Italian slapstick comedy dubbed into French would be like; occasionally amusing but mostly incoherent because I can’t understand the jokes. The two servicemen end up on the run from the authorities, dress up as black slave women to escape, perform the jitterbug, become gladiators, host a carnival (hit the target, win a midget), and mess around with various potions from some sorcerers. There’s no real surprises here, but it does have its moments; their disguises as female black slaves will definitely leave your jaw hanging open, and it did have one verbal gag that I caught, largely due to the fact that the French word for “cannibal” sounds a lot like the English word. It looks like Campanini and Chiari may have been a comedy team; they worked together on quite a few comedies during the early fifties.