In the current context we are living, it’s not so infrequent to hear stories from people who left their country in search for better opportunities in other places such as England, Germany or Dubai. Of course, emigration is not a new phenomena nor something that hasn’t already been brought to cinema but, nevertheless, it always has a certain aura of both fatality and hope around it.
In 1965, two years after Il Sorpasso, Dino Risi directed a movie about the matter, a story about the emigrants who left Italy for Argentina and were admired back in their land as heroes avoiding the difficulties Italy had to face after war. Needless to say, under the skin of a light comedy, Dino Risi places his critical eye, examining the fallacy those stories tended to built on and producing a movie that can be viewed today with the perspective of time but also with the feeling that nothing changed.
In yet another of his stereotypical roles, Vittorio Gassman plays the figure of Marco, a PR in his 30s-40s who’s accompanying a troupe of actresses to a Cinema Festival in Argentina. This is the perfect chance for him to meet with his old friend, Stefano (Nino Manfredi), who left Italy years ago and that, judging from his letters, is living a life of opulence in Argentina.
However, as soon as they arrive to the Buenos Aires airport, they are received by another Italian, the Ingeniere Marucchelli, a wealthy Napolitan who made tons of money in the meat industry and that from that moment on, will become their ciccerone in the Argentinian land.
The contrast between Stefano and Marucchelli is the contrast between good luck and bad luck, about those successful stories that reach us and those other that don’t nor we wish to hear.
Great filming in the wealthy Argentina of the 60s, with a good soundtrack and a nice main theme: Manuela, by Neil Sedaka.