Pete’s Peek | Marcello Mastroianni shares the love in the 1960s romp Casanova 70


Having wowed audiences and critics alike playing opposite Sophia Loren in 1964’s Academy Award nominated Marriage Italian Style, Marcello Mastroianni was teamed up with another Italian beauty, Virna Lisi, in the following year’s screwball comedy, Casanova 70.

Mastroianni again plays up to his latin lover image, this time as a lusty NATO officer who can only ‘perform’ when his life is in danger. While driving his shrink mad, Mastroianni encounters a bevy of beautiful babes – including Danger: Diabolik‘s Marisa Mell, Michéle Mecier of Angélique fame, Circus of Fear‘s Margaret Lee, and Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile‘s Liana Orfei – in an assortment of picture-postcard European locales.

Back in his Italian hometown, after nasty encounter with a Sicilian family out for his blood, Mastroianni tries settling down with his childhood sweetheart – the lovelorn Gigliola (played by the seductive Lisi). But, being afraid of seducing a woman he truly loves, the commitment-phobic Mastroianni ends up bedding a Countess who convinces him to help her kill her elderly husband (played by Le Grand Bouffe director Marco Ferreri). When that plot fails, Mastroianni’s gigolo ends up in court, surrounded by his past conquests, facing a murder rap.

Light-hearted, though a tad long in parts, this 1960s sex romp (which inspired Air’s song of the same name) is definitely Sunday afternoon fare. This new DVD release is subtitled, though watching it in the original Italian is a real treat. Actually, I quite fancy a European jaunt myself after watching this.

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