How We Cheated The Army / Come inguaiammo l'esercito (1965)

When actress Catherine played by the drop dead gorgeous Alicia Brandet decides to leave for America her husband Nick (Remo Germani), a famous singer and military conscript, decides to take their baby and hide him at the barracks quartermaster's store which is staffed by a gurning and grimacing Jerry Lewis like Franco Franchi who is answerable to a sergeant portrayed by a stuffy Ciccio Ingrassia.

While it is the case that the officer and quartermaster relationship is ideal for the perennial and turbulent comedy duo to play the bombastic pomposity of authority frustrated by incompetence and gentle playful subversion angle the pair prove to be far too loud, dominant and overbearing for material of great potential which could have benefited from a far lighter touch.

The film, which in essence is a Terry And June style farce with hide the baby and guileful courtship themes, somewhat loses it's way in the final third when it attempts to pick up the pace as cowboys and Indians appearing with a film crew show up in the middle of military manoeuvres to make a movie in a madcap segment reminiscent of the finale of Blazing Saddles.

Co-written by Alfonso Brescia this Lucio Fulci directed comedy is a patchy though sometimes inspired affair. Largely of interest to Fulci completists and fans of Franco and Ciccio the film nevertheless offers a look at one of the early career works of one of Italy's great horror auteurs.


Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics