The first screening of the Italian Film Club is approaching quickly!
Il Signor Max is a 1937 comedy film directed by Mario Camerini. It features Vittorio De Sica (in the double role of Gianni/Max Varaldo), Assia Noris and Rubi D’Alma.
Il signor Max recounts the story of Gianni, the owner of a newspapers vending stall, who is fascinated by the glittering world of the upper classes and ends up conducting a double life full of surprises and funny situations.
Written with the cooperation of the writer Mario Soldati and based on the well-oiled narrative mechanism of the ‘swap’, the film is a perfectly-timed comedy typical of the so-called ‘cinema dei telefoni bianchi’ (‘white telephones cinema’), a comedic genre entirely focused on rich and/or noble characters. Invariably set onboard liners or in hotels or nightclubs, these telefoni bianchi pictures gently mocked upper-class conventions while celebrating the triumph of the commonplace.
Vittorio De Sica, still far from his most prominent works as a director, became a matinee idol thanks to these kind of comedies of errors.
The film has been remade twice: in 1957 as Il Conte Max (with Alberto Sordi in the role of Gianni and Vittorio De Sica in that of the penniless Count Max Varaldo) and in 1991 when Vittorio’s son, Christian De Sica, directed another version equally entitled Il Conte Max.
Please note that the film will be in Italian with Italian subtitles only.