Tiger and the Pussycat, The / Il tigre (1967)

4.5 out of 5

Sweet and sad in equal measure the multi award winning romantic comedy drama The Tiger and the Pussycat sees an industrialist Francesco Vincenzini, played by Vittorio Gassman, suffering midlife crisis and getting caught up in a love affair with a flirty eighteen year old Carolina who is in turn played convincingly by twenty six year old former Kitten With A Whip Ann-Margret.

The film successfully captures the hope, delusion, futility and deceit of the situaltion as Calolina displays increasing maturity despite her giggly youthfulness while Francesco goes into mini meltdown as his heart is torn and pulled in two directions at once. Painfully sad yet at the same time endearing Il tigre is a visual delight laden with a swinging sixties beat aesthetic and works as a study of characters in an all to familiar, and heartbreaking, situation with a particular stand out role for Eleanor Parker of Sound Of Music fame as a wife suffering in silence in the hope of saving a marriage at breaking point.

Flashback and dream sequences are rendered in black and white and I Rollini provide a few songs. Wonderful.

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