Mel Brooks Is Very Funny
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Yes thats right Mel Brooks is on top form, but the trobble is his co star Ezio Greggio is about as funny as a nose bleed, he has a complete lack of comic timing and no directing skills. This film would have been a comedy gem if Mel Brooks' talent had been able to take center stage more and it had some one else in Ezio Greggio part.Its a shame to see what could have been a very good and funny film turn into total crud."
Madness is subjective
Peter Shelley | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 04/28/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This Italian comedy directed and starring Ezio Greggio features some silly slapstick and pleasing ba-boom rhythm timing in the jokes. It also helps that Greggio is a likeable clown. Here he is the son of the Puccini health food company, a joke on Puccini's unhealthy operas, and ventures to Hollywood to bring back his father's WW2 friend, Mel Brooks. The casting of Brooks as a war hero clues you into what Greggio is getting himself into (and prefigures what happens when Brooks is finally brought back to the father), and Greggio adds to this by making the memory flashback to the act of heroism a deliberately staged event, with scratchy film stock and jumpy projection. Brooks' appearance is a continuation of his Harpo-like hair sticking up look from TV's Mad About You, which is both a lazy immediate indication of his behaviour and a sad indictment of a comediene past his prime. Brooks here is sweetly amusing with his want to burst into Al Jolson routines - that kind of gag defines the period of his humour - but it's hard not to remember a time when he was able to direct his own vehicles. Those films could be faulted but they still gave evidence of his own brand of lowbrow comic genius. Greggio plays off Brooks without upstaging him but, even as the relative straightman, clearly is the fresher performer. While Julie Condra as the requisite female interest doesn't have a comic skill to match Greggio and Brooks to be able to lift the proceedings to a higher level, and some of the supporting cast appear to be dubbed, Greggio stages some clever setpieces. A variation of the auction scene from North by Northwest this time set in a casino with Greggio unintentionally winning is funny, the standard wardrobe selection of having multiples of the same outfit cute, and the idea of the two hiding out in a monastery with monks who have a vow of silence is a delicious one even if the payoff is disappointing. Greggio may include a fart joke but not for gross out effect and the writing of Rudy De Luca and Steve Haberman provides for some running gags. Just when one begins to be deflated Greggio comes up with something to keep one watching."
Hanna Sztranc | 09/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Outstanding!!!!! Brilliant sense of humor and perfect performance of actors. Telling the truth. We love Mel Brooks !! A lot of dialogues written by him are being used by our family as sort of our private internal language."