Ghosts – Italian Style (1968)

GHOSTS – ITALIAN STYLE (1968)
aka Questi fantasmi
Article 2788 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-25-2008
Posting Date: 4-1-2009
Directed by Renato Castellani
Featuring Sophia Loren, Vittorio Gassman, Maria Adorf
Country: Italy / France

A couple whose marriage is suffering is offered a chance to stay at a castle rent-free. The drawback is that the castle appears to be haunted.

This movie should not be confused with FANTASMI A ROMA (GHOSTS IN ROME); that movie has a gaggle of real ghosts and an unusual plot, or at least as much as I can make out of one since I’ve only seen it in unsubtitled Italian. This one has a plot that looks quite familiar indeed; people moving into haunted houses is a setup as old as the hills. To its credit, this movie takes it in a different direction that moves it more into the area of bedroom farce, in which the wife’s prospective lover is mistaken for a ghost by the husband, a situation that results in a series of amusing complications. The movie has a lukewarm reputation, but I found it quite hilarious at times; my favorite gags revolve around the name of the orphanage and the arrival of a huge group of nuns at the castle. As you might suspect, the main plot involves no real ghost, but, like a number of comedies that revolve around hauntings that really aren’t hauntings, it can’t resist slipping in a real ghost in the final reel, which involves cameos by both Francis De Wolff and an uncredited Marcello Mastroianni. I found this one quite enjoyable.

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