Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

ALFREDO, ALFREDO (1972)

The bleak comic stylings of Pietro Germi fell off the international circuit after the marriage off/marriage on wars of DIVORCE ITALIAN STYLE/’61 and SEDUCED AND ABANDONED/’64. But he kept at it in Italy and got a Stateside reprieve for this later look at the institution by hiring Dustin Hoffman (at his commercial peak between Peckinpah’s controversial STRAW DOGS/’71 and PAPILLON/’73 with Steve McQueen) as leading man. And it’s no stunt casting, Germi finds a useful runt-of-the-litter/common man appeal in Hoffman for this tale of an Italian schlemiel who lucks into the girl of his dreams (Stefania Sandrelli) only to find out that wedded bliss can turn into a trap once ego-booting constant attention becomes emasculating possession. Having a mistress on the side (Carla Gravina) helps, but with the belated change in Italian divorce laws, Dustin may simply be exchanging his current miserable marriage for a new one. Hoffman’s character narrates the film to great effect and the broad (make that very broad) playing clicks into place under Germi’s phenomenal technical control. (So good, he even coaxes out laughs with under-cranked action, a gag that almost never works.) What Germi can’t quite get away from is that he’s been down this road before; and to better effect. But the film grows on you and holds enough sparks and enough big laughs to get away with it’s slightly stale qualities.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: A couple of DVD issues. The generally fine MYA/Belmondo disc while not restored is sourced from a good print in Academy Ratio (4x3). Presumably shot with an ‘open gauge,’ the film would have been cropped by the projectionist into a WideScreen format between 1.6 & 1.85:1. So watch 'as is,' squared off, or self-crop by zooming up one notch. Just don’t use the enhanced 16x9 setting which stretches the image for an anamorphic fill. Also: the DVD offers Italian or English, but no subtitles. But since only the English track uses Hoffman’s voice, it’s probably the best choice even for all you multilinguals.

No comments: