TOO BAD SHE’S BAD (Peccato che sia una canaglia)(director/writer: Alessandro Blasetti; screenwriters: Suso Cecchi d’Amico/Ennio Flaiano/ story “Il fanatico” by Alberto Moravia; cinematographer: Aldo Giordani; editor: Mario Serandrei; music: Alessandro Cicognini; cast: Vittorio De Sica (Vittorio Stroppiani), Sophia Loren (Lina Stroppiani), Marcello Mastroianni (Paolo), Giorgio Sanna (Peppino), Michael Simone (Toto), Margherita Bagni (Elsa), Wanda Benedetti (Valeria), Maria Britneva (English tourist); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; Getz-Kingsley Films; 1954-Italy-in Italian with English subtitles)
“… the three Binga, Banga, Bonga stars are enjoyable and if the comedy doesn’t grab you then the men can at least ogle the curvaceous Sophia.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Alessandro Blasetti (“Fabiola”/”The Flame”) directs this fast-paced, lighthearted farce that based on a story by Alberto Moravia. It features an earthy Sophia Loren (only twenty years old), who would after this acclaimed box office smash become an international star. The co-stars Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio De Sica work with Sophia for the first time and have great chemistry together, and they would both continue to be featured in many films with Sophia throughout her long career. Marcello and Sophia made 15 films together, even more than such dynamic duos as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (10 films) and Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (9 films). De Sica directed Sophia in Two Women and the result was that the sex symbol showed she had the talent to act and took home a Best Actress Oscar.
“Bad” is set in Rome, where honest taxi driver Paolo (Marcello Mastroianni) takes on the sultry Lina (Sophia Loren) and two men friends for a fare. They go to a beach and the men try to steal the taxi while Lina flirts with Paolo. He deters the robbers, but they run away. Attracted to her but at the same time repulsed that she’s a con artist, he can’t help getting more involved with her and her friendly father (Vittorio De Sica). He’s the kind of thief that can steal anything and has the gift of gab to talk his way out of it if caught. The poor innocent schnook, Paolo, is out of his class trying to deal with Lina’s entire family of thieves and liars, and finally gives in and marries her figuring maybe in that way he can reform her bad habits.
It’s not a particularly good film, but the three Binga, Banga, Bonga stars are enjoyable and if the comedy doesn’t grab you then the men can at least ogle the curvaceous Sophia.
REVIEWED ON 6/5/2008 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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