Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 31st, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1965
Director: Mario Monicelli
Writers: Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, Mario Monicelli, Tonino Guerra, Giorgio Salvioni, Suso Cecchi D’Amico
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Virna Lisi, Marisa Mell, Michèle Mercier, Enrico Maria Salerno, Liana Orfei, Guido Alberti, Beba Loncar, Moira Orfei, Margaret Lee, Rosemary Dexter, Jolanda Modio, Seyna Seyn, Luciana Paoli, Marco Ferreri
BluRay released: October 11th, 2011
Approximate running times: 115 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby TrueHD Mono Italian
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Casanova ’70 was co-written and directed by Mario Monicelli, who’s other notable films include, The Great War, Big Deal on Madonna Street and For Love and Gold. Key collaborators on Casanova ’70 include screenwriter Suso Cecchi D’Amico (Bicycle Thieves, Violent Summer), cinematographer Aldo Tonti (Ossessione, The Designated Victim), composer Armando Trovajoli (Two Women, Marriage Italian Style), editor Ruggero Mastroianni (The Damned, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion) and camera operator Luigi Kuveiller (Deep Red, The New York Ripper).
The narrative is primarily told via flashbacks were the film’s protagonist recounts his various romantic mishaps with a psychiatrist. Also these flashbacks due a superb job with everyone’s back-stories.
A few of this film’s stand out moments include a scene in which the protagonist character is at a restaurant in Sicily and while he is waiting to be served. He overhears that the restaurant owners daughter’s fiancée refuses to marry her because she is impure. Somehow he convinces them that he is a doctor and shortly thereafter he sleeps with her, while everyone awaits his verdict in the other room. After he has done the deed, he opens the door disheveled looking and proclaims ‘She’s is pure’. Unfortunately for him, the real doctor has arrived and he is then relentlessly pursued by the young woman’s family. Another stand out moment involves a cursed prostitute that the locales are afraid to sleep with. Fortunately for the protagonist, he needs a sense of danger to aroused.
So who better to portray the ‘Latin lover’ persona then Marcello Mastroianni (8 1/2, The 10th Victim), who made a career out of playing such character’s. And to this film’s credit they have him portraying a character that is in direct contrast to the aforementioned type of character that he was most known for. And while he most certainly fits the role of the ‘Casanova’ from a psychical standpoint. The greatest strength of his performances lies less in his attractiveness and more in his pitch perfect comedic timing.
Being that this is a film about a man, who is having trouble getting aroused. It should not come as a surprise that there is an ample amount of eye candy on display throughout. Some of the more notable female cast members includes Margaret Lee (Venus in Furs), Rosemary Dexter (Marquis de Sade: Justine), Michèle Mercier (Black Sabbath – ‘The Telephone’ segment), Marisa Mell (Danger: Diabolik) and Virna Lisi (How to Murder Your Wife). Another performance of note is Enrico Maria Salerno (The Bird With the Crystal Plumage) in the role of the protagonists psychiatrist.
Sometimes less is more and that is most definitely the case with Casanova ’70, a film that built up around a simple premise, its lead character’s inability to get aroused. And while such a simplistic premise could have worn itself out very quickly. It actually becomes more humorous as the story progresses and the more tormented the protagonists becomes.
Casanova ’70 comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors look robust, flesh tones look healthy, black levels look consistently good and details generally look crisp. It should be noted that there are few mild instances involving compression artifacts.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby TrueHD Mono mix in Italian. The audio sounds clear, clear and balanced throughout. With the film’s score benefiting most from this audio mix. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 17 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a stills gallery. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Boccaccio ’70 (2 minutes 20 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in English), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (4 minutes 12 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Italian with English subtitles), Sunflower (3 minutes 59 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Italian with English subtitles) and Marriage Italian Style (1 minutes 50 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Italian with English subtitles). Overall Casanova ’70 gets a good presentation from Kino Lorber.
Note: Kino Lorber are also releasing Casanova ’70 on DVD.