Toto sceicco (1950)

aka Toto the Shiek
Article 2936 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-22-2009
Posting Date: 8-28-2009
Directed by Mario Mattoli
Featuring Toto, Tamara Lees, Laura Gore
Country: Italy

When his master leaves to join the foreign legion, a majordomo is sent by a marquesse to fetch him back. Complications arise, however, when the majordomo is mistaken for the son of a shiek.

In terms of Italian comedy, I would choose Toto over Franco and Ciccio any day. However, one must bear in mind that this choice is based upon viewings of their movies without the benefit of English dubbing or subtitles, so I can’t say I can fully appreciate them. In the purely visual sense, I know that Toto appeals to me more; his facial expressions don’t seem to resort to the shameless mugging of the Franco and Ciccio movies, and his movies just seem to be more creative. I’d love to know what’s going on in some of the scenes towards the beginning, especially one in a restaurant involving a kissing sound and lots of sausages. Things becomes a little easier to follow in the second half of the movie when Toto stumbles across the lost world of Atlantis; this part is essentially a parody of L’ATLANTIDE, which I’ve seen. It seems fairly amusing, though not as memorable as TOTO IN HELL, though there does seem to be an inordinate amount of joking about mirages in this one.

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