Horseracing expert Totò breaks into the studio of the most famous Italian quiz show
The ingenious comedy of the “prince of laughter”, in the world of television with shades of a gangster film
From its first broadcast in November 1955, the TV quiz show Lascia o raddoppia (Double or Quits) was an unprecedented national phenomenon. Every Saturday evening (and later every Thursday), the country came to a standstill so that it could watch with trepidation the fortunes of competitors of all shapes, sizes and social backgrounds, experts on all manner of topics (from opera to fungi). Totò took advantage of this popularity and went into the television studio to answer questions on horseracing and meet the true stars of the programme: presenter Mike Bongiorno and his beautiful assistant Edy Campagnoli. The resulting film is a highly enjoyable cross between an instant-movie and a light-hearted gangster film, constructed around the amazing small-screen success of the quiz show. And today, it is also a valuable document of an important moment in modern Italian culture.
The penniless Duke Gagliardo della Forcoletta participles in the TV quiz show Lascia o raddoppia? in the hope of being able to pay for his daughter’s wedding. Thanks to his encyclopaedic preparation on the subject of horseracing, he starts to win some money. But things get complicated when two gangsters bet on what he will do, and resort to threats to ensure they win. The duke is left with a conundrum: double or quits?