Fun and revolution from a cast that includes some of the biggest names in Italian comedy
A well-paced and light-hearted treasure trove of pleasant surprises
Ferdinando I re di Napoli is a treasure trove of pleasant surprises. Not just for the beauty of the costumes and sets, or the joyfully vivid colours, or the fast pace and funny dialogue. Yes, they are all great reasons to love the film, along director Gianni Franciolini’s masterful adaptation of Pasquale Festa Campanile and Massimo Franciosa’s screenplay, which despite its carefree feel is not without political commentary. But above all, it is the sumptuous and exhilarating cast, which brings joy to the eyes and to the spirit in every scene. Peppino De Filippo plays the playboy king, while brother Eduardo plays Pulcinella, an actor who turns art into a weapon at the service of the revolution. The rest of the cast interpret a series of characters, but it would be doing a disservice to use the adjective “background”: Vittorio De Sica as a charlatan priest, Renato Rascel as a progressive coach driver, Nino Taranto as a jinxed prime minister, Aldo Fabrizi as a farmer, Marcello Mastroianni as a hot-headed young man and Rosanna Schiaffino as his lover. A wonderful array of talent to accompany and entertain us through this well-paced and light-hearted story.
Naples at the start of the 19th century. The Bourbon King Ferdinand I is more interested in inns and women than in good governance. A fact that has earned him the nickname “The Playboy King”. One of those to give voice to popular discontent is Pulcinella. However, just as the king is finally about to get his hands on the actor, Napoleon Bonaparte’s shadow looms large on the horizon…