Giovanni dalle Bande Nere

Director: Sergio Grieco

Year: 1956

A vaguely interesting historical drama starring the great Vittorio Gassman as Giovanni de Medici.

The costumes are quite nice and the war scenes, though they verge on the absurd due to the lack of extras (the French army is represented by about twelve men), are satisfying. There is also a fair bit of rape and pillage, if rape and pillage is your thing.

Probably the highlight of the film is towards the end, when Giovanni is confronted by Gasparo (Gérard Landry) who betrayed him. Giovanni spits out the ultimate insult: “Verme traditore carogna!” (roughly translated as “traitorous worm carrion” and then, after a brief struggle, proceeds to beat Gasparo’s brains out with a pyx.

This might not be for everyone, but I imagine it is a lot more interesting then the latest Die Hard film and is yet another example of something which would be nice to have available to an English speaking audience—though in truth, it is not even commercially available in Italian.

(Below is the German language poster.)

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