47 morto che parla (1950) Poster

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Totò does Harpagon (sort of)
petra_ste26 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A bit Molière's L'Avare, a bit Plautus' Aulularia, this little comedy is notable because of the great comedic talent of Totò, one of the most charismatic, compulsively watchable Italian actors of the 20th century - even if he spent most of his career on droll but unremarkable fluff. This is not one of his best movies - see, for example, his part as a scornful master thief in Monicelli's I Soliti Ignoti - but it's rather amusing nonetheless.

Greedy baron Peletti (Totò) hides a box of precious jewels his father had destined to their town. The townspeople trick him into believing he is dead and, in a fake afterlife, try to convince him to finally give up the heredity.

Although Totò's performance as the avaricious baron is by far the best thing about the picture, I have to say a young Carlo Croccolo is also rather funny as his miserable butler.

Overall, not a great movie, and almost every scene without Totò (thankfully, very few) is worthless; besides, while the first act (before the fake death) is amusing, and the second (the baron's ordeal in the "afterlife") is also not bad, the last part drags. However, Totò's interpretation of the archetypal greedy character inevitably brings a smile to my face.

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