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Run Time: 110 minutes
"A film by Pietro Germi." He initiated and spent a year of preparation on the project, failing health forced him to abandon the direction and Germi chose Mario Monicelli as his successor.
Italy is the only country in the world that seriously rivals the United States in the production of film comedy. Pietro Germi, who directed "Divorce Italian Style" (1961) and the hilarious satire "Seduced and Abandoned" (1964), wrote the screenplay for MY FRIENDS in collaboration with several others, including Tullio Pinelli, Federico Fellini's favorite comic writer. One week after the movie went into production in 1974, Germi suddenly died, and Mario Monicelli was brought in to finish the film. Monicelli's previous credits include such excellent movies as "The Organizer" (1963) and "Big Deal on Madonna Street" (1958). MY FRIENDS is an Italian buddy-buddy film, only instead of two heroes, there are four - all middle-aged and disillusioned, beaten down by life's disappointments, crummy jobs, and harpies for wives, if they have them. When one of the characters expresses concern that his buddy is leaving his wife with only two onions in the house, he shrugs philosophically and replies, "It's better this way: She'll worry too much to feel hungry." When isolated, the four pals don't think much of their individual accomplishments, but as soon as they're together, life regains its old zest. Every once in a while they tear off like boisterous gypsies, temporarily abandoning their jobs and families. Friends since childhood, they all attended school together in the same provincial town, and were even drafted into the Army at the same time. Whenever they go off to carouse - which includes much drinking, practical joking, singing and womanizing - their spirits are lifted. When injured in an auto accident, they cheerfully ask a hospital attendant for "a room for four." The film is a series of comic sketches, loosely episodic in structure, unified by the theme of masculine camaraderie. The cast, headed by the ubiquitous Philippe Noiret and the great Italian farceur Ugo Tognazzi, is first rate.
Pietro Germi, Piero de Bernardi, Leo Benvenuti and Tullio Pinelli
Rizzoli/R.P.A. (Pietro Germi)
Ugo Tognazzi, Philippe Noiret, Gastone Moschin, Adolfo Celi, Duilio del Prete, Bernard Blier, Olga Karlatos, Milena Vukotic, Silvia Dionisio