The Challenge of Barletta presents Bud Spencer with the chance to give one of his very best performances (naturally, we mean outside of his partnership with Terence Hill). The film takes a mocking look at the real-life historical event, turning it into a fresh light-hearted comedy, which at times has a similar feel to Monicelli’s Brancaleone. Pasquale Festa Campanile’s skilful direction is a perfect balance of comedy and adventure, and proof that he has not forgotten the lessons of Boccaccio. The “challenge” also presents an opportunity to renew that age-old rivalry: the conceited French versus the loutish but clever Italians. Nobody need get offended. After all, we’re just having a laugh.
1503. The French are besieging Spanish forces trapped inside Barletta. Ettore Fieramosca and his men react to the arrogance of some French soldiers by issuing a challenge to them. The outcome of the tournament is uncertain, but history has taught us who will be victorious.