Secret Fantasy (1971) Pasquale Festa Campanile

Secret Fantasy (1971)
aka Il merlo maschio
Genre: Sexy Comedy
Country: Italy | Director: Pasquale Festa Campanile
Language: Italian | Subtitles: English (Optional, embedded in Mkv file)
Aspect ratio: Cinemascope 2.35:1 | Length: 105mn
Dvdrip H264 Mkv - 1024x432 - 25fps - 2.02gb

Niccolò Vivaldi is a cello player and he plays in Arena di Verona Orchestra. But he is not the first and neither the second cello. He is frustrated. Nobody can remember his face, nor his name. Niccolò is married to Costanza, who is really beautiful and he takes some pictures of her naked. Later he shows the pictures to a friend and so he feels better. He starts to write a comic opera called "Il merlo maschio" only to discover later he had written Rossini's "La gazza ladra". To maintain his self-esteem he can only show his wife... 

This is one of those vaguely arty, Freudian-based Italian sex comedies that were popular in the early 70's. It's very similar to Lucio Fulci's "The Eroticist" and to the director Festa's earlier "The Libertine", but it's not as cleverly satirical as the former and doesn't quite have the effective story of the latter.

The film re-teams Lando Buzzanca and Laura Antonelli from "The Eroticist". Buzzanca plays a bass cellist who's frustrated by his own ignominy--no one seems to ever notice him or remember his name, and he lives perpetually in the shadow of his famous virtuoso violinist father. While accompanying his wife to a doctor's appointment, he becomes obsessed when he notices other men staring at his his wife's gorgeous naked body (apparently he was not previously aware he was married to Laura Antonelli). He concocts increasing elaborate--and public--schemes to get both strangers and colleagues to see his wife in the altogether. His wife's body replaces the bass cello as his "instrument" for getting the attention of the world, and he has strange Freudian dreams where his snooty conductor conducts he and his wife's lovemaking or where he takes Antonelli out of his bass cello case and "plays" her naked backside with a violin bow.

Buzzanca is always very good in these manic-type rolls. Antonelli has been sexier in other films like when she played a guilty but lust-crazed nun in "The Eroticist", a cruelly unfaithful wife in "Venus in Furs", and an improbably sexy maid who seduces both a father and teenage son in "Malizia". However, with the possible exception of "The Ventian Lady" when she was considerably older, this might be her most perpetually naked role, and--good god!--what an incredible body she has here. (Warning: heterosexual male viewers who watch this movie may find themselves being sexually aroused by bass cellos for years afterwards). The direction by the talented Italian comedy director Pasquale Campanile Festa is good as always. It's perhaps not the highest of compliments, but this is certainly one of the better Italian sex comedies of the era. 

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