Neapolitan Style

Dino Risi’s caper comedy OPERAZIONE SAN GENNARO should be enjoyably silly but it has a running “gag” about protagonist Nino Manfredi slapping his character’s fiancee (and later, wife) Claudine Auger, which makes it hard to like. Some things just don’t age well, and domestic violence comedy appears to be one of them.

The plot is very silly, rendered even dafter by those moments when visiting American heisters Harry Guardino (!) and Senta Berger speak English — she’s been dubbed with a broad yank accent, not her own, but apparently all they could find for poor Harry was a thickly-accented Italian.

Mario Adorf is funny — he’s developed a really funny run, and he runs a lot in this film. Toto, seemingly a required presence in any Italian crime comedy, blesses the proceedings with an appearance by his chin, followed some minutes later by the rest of him.

The airport chase at the end is great. THIS shot appears to be real, and very, very irresponsible if so.

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