Il monaco di Monza (1962)

IL MONACO DI MONZA (1962)
aka The Monk of Monza
Article 3703 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-19-2011
Posting Date: 10-4-2011
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
Featuring Toto, Nino Taranto, Erminio Macario
Country: Italy
What it is: Italian comedy

A put-upon shoemaker decides to disguise himself as a monk in order to get the charity he needs to feed his twelve children. However, he ends up in the castle of an evil Marquis who is trying to force a woman to marry him.

Be aware that the above plot description may have mistakes in it; I was only able to find an unsubtitled copy of this movie, and though I was able to find a few hints of the plot, the actual storyline is a muddle to me. Still, I more or less enjoyed the movie, but then, I always enjoy seeing Toto in action; as to Italian comedians, I would easily choose him over Franco and Ciccio. Even if I can’t understand what’s going on, his body language and facial expressions are very effective, and though he can do some strange things with his face, he doesn’t rely on mugging. A few of the gags to come through; there’s a prayer sequence that involves several well-known international actresses, and the hilarious final sequence in the movie features the most unlikely group of people riding to the rescue. As for the fantastic content, I got most of the hints from the Walt Lee guide. Apparently, there’s something involving a love potion, but these scenes are vague enough that I’m not sure what the potion is supposed to be, and I would have guessed it was a poison of some sort. As for fantastic elements in the movie, there are scenes involving a torture chamber, and one sequence where a dead man seems to come to life (he’s actually not dead, but certain people think he is). I enjoyed it as much as I could, but without subtitles, it’s impossible for me to give it any real evaluation.

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