Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 29th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1983
Director: Nando Cicero
Writers: Nando Cicero, Luciano Martino
Cast: Alvaro Vitali, Carmen Russo, Mario Carotenuto, Cristiano Censi, Vittorio Marsiglia, Bobby Rhodes, Franca Valeri
DVD Released:November 15th, 2011
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A Brazilian soccer player, who also happens to be the star of one the two teams playing for the championship in a Italian soccer league. He becomes the target of a wealthy countess, who has put a large sum on the team that is playing his team. So to insure that she wins her bet, she concocts various schemes to eliminate him from the championship game. Fortunately for this Brazilian soccer player, there is a janitor that looks almost exactly like him.
Lady Football was co-written and directed by Nando Cicero, who’s other notable films credits include The School Teacher and The Lady Medic. Key collaborators on Lady Football Luciano Martino (The Virgin, the Bull and the Capricorn), who co-wrote the screenplay, cinematographer Federico Zanni (Almost Human, Poker in Bed) and composer Ubaldo Continiello (Jungle Holocaust, Macabre).
Though this film for this release has been re-titled Lady Football, it’s original Italian language title is ‘Paulo Roberto Cotechiño centravanti di sfondamento’, which roughly translates to ‘Paulo Roberto Cotechiño Center Forward of Break Through’.
In the wild world of Italian sex comedies, there is often a anything goes attitude that pervades most of these films. Let’s face it, the majority of these sex themed Italian comedies have anemic plots and rarely spend time on character development. And yet despite these shortcomings, this genre has proved to be one of the more durable from Italian cinema’s golden age. So if there was one singular reason why this genre had the staying power that it had, the simple answer would be. These films are undeniable Italian, while the other genres that rose to prominence in Italian cinema more often were mimicking whatever was popular in world cinema at the time.
Though the plot for Lady Football revolves a world famous soccer player, the film actually does not spend that much time focusing on his exploits on the field. Instead the attention is shifted towards the things that he is doing on field, especially since he should be preparing for the big game. Sure most of the craziness that unfolds to this character, actually happens to his double and not him. While he sits back and gets ready for the game.
Lady Football is not the type of film that is going to wow you with its storyline. Instead it focuses on its greatest strength, its comedic set pieces. Which include poisoning, electrocution in the shower and numerous other failed assassination attempts. Another standout moment involves a scene in which the Brazilian soccer players girlfriend, who has become jealous due to a misunderstanding. So she concocts a potion that allows her control the person who drinks it by inflicting punishment via a doll that looks like the Brazilian soccer. Unfortunately the wrong person, Brazilian soccer players double drinks it.
Without a doubt this film’s greatest assets is its leading man Alvaro Vitali (The Lady Medic, Desirable Teacher) in the dual role of Paulo Roberto Cotechiño, world famous soccer player from Brazil and Idraulico, a plumber that he enlists as his double. Also this film’s leading lady Carmen Russo (Satan’s Wife, Patrick Still Lives) makes sure that there never a shortage of eye candy. Another performance of note is Bobby Rhodes (Demons) in the role of Countesses henchmen named Mandingo. Ultimately Lady Football is at best a mildly amusing romp that has a few memorable comedic set pieces.
Lady Football is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer in is good shape and print debris while present, it is minimal. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels fare well and details generally look crisp. There is however some instances where edge enhancement looks more pronounced, then it does for the bulk of the transfer.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy read and follow. it should be noted that these English subtitles have a few grammatical errors.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film (4 minutes 12 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Italian with no English subtitles). Overall Lady Football gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.