Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, Clive Revill, Edward Andrews, Gianfranco Barra, Franco Angrisano, Pippo Franco, Franco Acampora, Giselda Castrini
Written by: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond, based on a play by Samuel Taylor
Directed by: Billy Wilder
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 144
Date: 12/17/1972

Avanti! (1972)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Enter Italy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In Avanti!, the fifth of his seven films with Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon plays Wendell Armbruster, a busy, married American who travels to Italy to claim the body of his dead father. Once there, he discovers that his father had a mistress, who died in the same accident. He also meets his father's mistress's daughter, the adorable Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills), who is inexplicably supposed to be fat. Wilder justifies this film's length (144 minutes) with its loving, carefree and even relaxing Italian vacation atmosphere. The more things get fouled up, the more free time Armbruster and Piggott have to spend together and the more they begin to unwind. This film also marks the first time Wilder uses sex and nudity onscreen and viewers may see a little more of Lemmon than they wanted.

Kino Lorber released this title on Blu-ray in 2017, looking and sounding crisp, and hopefully helping to elevate the movie's reputation a bit. Bonuses include interviews with actors Juliet Mills and Clive Revill and trailers for other Wilder films.

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