(Review originally written at 23 December 2006)

The production values of this movie are pretty low but the movie is still made entertainment by its characters and fun adventurous situations.

In its core, the story is pretty entertaining. It's an adventurous story, set in a WW I Italian environment. However the execution of it all isn't always good. The movie suffers from some horrible editing at times, which doesn't help to make the story flow well. The character treatment at times also doesn't feel right. It's for most part unclear which character is supposed to be the main character. Some characters are introduced too late into the movie for that and disappear also out of it for too often. Also of course the idea of making a comedy set during WW I is already a pretty odd idea. It's not the most tasteful movie because of that but if you can look past all those weaker and weird things of the movie, you'll get to see a pretty decent (enough) entertaining movie.

The movie does a fairly good job at creating a war time environment, with constant background explosions (but to be honest the explosions seem pointless, since no forces are nearby- or battles are going on) and nice looking costumes. But its just not impressive enough all. The movie makes a 'low-budget' impression, which is probably also due to the typical simplistic way of Italian film-making. If done correctly, this style can work wonderful and realistic for a movie but this movie does really feel amateur like at times. The musical score by Ennio Morricone is also a pretty weird one, even for comedy standards.

It's pretty weird to see Rod Steiger in a movie like this, in the same year he won an Oscar for his role "In the Heat of the Night" and two years after his "Doctor Zhivago" role. But yes, sure he has played in much worse and even lesser known movies. Plus, he has always been pretty entertaining to watch in comedies, so it's not really a complaint anyhow. The rest of the cast obviously isn't very talented and play their characters very formulaic and without much enthusiasm.

Really no must-see and far from a great movie but when you do decide to watch it, you'll most likely still be entertained by it for most part.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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