Monday, October 17, 2016

By the Gods!

An assassin (Giuliano Gemma) is about to kill Messalina (Belinda Lee) in MESSALINA

And you know who's going to end up dead here (it's not Belinda). A wildly uneven film, in tone and quality. Is it a comedy? A black comedy? A mix of comedy and drama, etc. Vittorio Cottafavi directed this and there's excellent quality in almost every frame but it's a bit confusing in tone. I believe something might have happened during the production, something that's not known yet. Cottafavi is known to make wild films (GOLIATH & THE DRAGON, for example) but this looks more like a straight forward 'serious' production...which happens to have bits of slapstick in it. Belinda played a lot of these vampy women during her short career. This is one of Giuliano's first big break as an actor. It's a brief role but memorable.

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