A jubilant comedy with Vittorio Gassman in an incredible acting performance
New 2K restoration
Gerardo and his wife Annalisa have been leading a quiet, uneventful existence for some time, much to Gerardo's chagrin. One day, a man knocks at their door trying to sell them a candlestick. Gerardo quickly senses the scam, and for good reason: he was once an expert in scams of all kinds, nicknamed Gerardo the artist for his ability to embody multiple characters in order to extort people...
Il Mattatore (The Man with a Hundred Faces) tells in the form of a flashback the story of Gerardo, a small-time actor converted into a professional hustler. This film marks the first collaboration between four future big names in cinema: Dino Risi directing, Ettore Scola and Ruggero Maccari writing the screenplay, and Vittorio Gassman in the title role. These four will soon participate in the revival of Italian comedy, choosing to use humor to deal with everyday life and the new socio-political issues of their country. In Il Mattatore , Scola, Maccari and Risi thus revisit the scam film in the pure "commedia dell'arte" tradition, while Gassman delivers a formidable performance as an actor by interpreting no less than fifteen roles, going from to each other with extraordinary ease. Until the end of the 1950s, this still little-known actor devoted himself mainly to the theater and gave little credit to his cinematographic career, playing only in films without great artistic pretension. The turning point came in 1958 with Le Pigeon by Mario Monicelli, where the actor finally landed a role commensurate with his talent, which Il Mattatore would soon confirm. Respectively two and three years before Le Fanfaron and Les Monstres , (re)discover the first film of the famous and prolific duo Dino Risi / Vittorio Gassman, finally available in its 2K restoration!
IL MATTATORE (THE MAN OF A HUNDRED FACES) (1960 – B&W – 104 mins)
. THE MAGNIFICENT CROOK (24 mins) Director Michel Hazanavicius ( The Artist ) explains how Il Mattatore (The Man with a Hundred Faces) and Vittorio Gassman made a deep impression on him. So much so that he had considered doing a remake with Jean Dujardin!
* in HD on the Blu-ray version
Released October 11, 2017 as part of the "Italian cinema collection part 2"