Avanti!Director: Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, Clive Revill
This enchanting yet dark romantic comedy stars Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills as a pair of mismatched lovers helplessly drawn into a series of seemingly hopeless but humorous situations as in Lemmon's The Out-of -Towners two years earlier. Lemmon is Wendell Armbruster Jr., an overbearing American business tycoon forced to travel to the beautiful Italian island of Ischia to claim the body of his recently departed father. What begins with a rather elementary premise evolves into a succession of somber twists and turns, as Armbruster meets Pamela Piggott (Mills), the daughter of his father's mistress, who, Lemmon is appalled to learn, died alongside Armbruster Sr., while zipping through the Italian countryside in his sportscar. Even worse, the family who owns the vineyard that his father's car crashed into has stolen the bodies in exchange for damages. Although plagued with a plethora of such problems, as well as an inability to enjoy life (and the ulcers to prove it), Wendell eventually falls in love with Pamela, almost exactly as his father did with her mother.
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Cast & Crew
|Jack Lemmon||Wendell Armbruster|
|Juliet Mills||Pamela Pigott|
|Clive Revill||Carlo Carlucci|
|Edward Andrews||J.J. Blodgett|
|Franco Acampora||Armando Trotta|
|Raffaele Mottola||Passport Officer|
|Antonio Faa di Bruno||Concierge|
|Francesco Angrisano||Arnold Trotta|
|Harry Ray||Dr. Fleischmann|
|Guidarino Guidi||Maitre D'|
|Basil Fenton-Smith||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Carlo Rustichelli||Score Composer,Musical Arrangement|
|Ferdinando Scarfiotti||Art Director|
|Frank Warner||Sound Editor|
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Very enjoyable movie. Something is always happening to keep you watching. Sometimes action, sometimes romance, sometimes sex.
Avanti is a classic comedy that seems to have slipped under the radar. It simply hammers you with one laugh and one smile of admiration after another -- partly from the situations in which the main characters find themselves, but mostly the wonderful dialogue from all the characters. It harks back to the days when the fine use of the English language and twists of plot were depended on for entertainment -- rather than foul language and steamy sex. In fact, its modest use of sexual tension and some innocent nudity help make the film unforgettable. I kept thinking about this film for weeks after seeing it on cable in 2007. I wondered why I hadn't heard of it before. Lemmon is simply outstanding, and the rest of the cast is not far behind. You may be left with the desire to book a flight to Naples and take the ferry over to Capri as soon as possible.