White Collar Blues (1975)


White Collar Blues Storyline

Based on Paolo Villaggio’s books “Fantozzi” and “Il secondo, tragico Fantozzi”, which are popular in Italy, this film tells the story of an unfortunate accountant’s life over the course of one year, shown in a variety of sketches, segments, and provocative sequences presenting Fantozzi as a very unlucky person indeed.

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White Collar Blues Movie Reviews

The duality of a comedy

First chapter of the Paolo Villaggio saga that has given a lot to Italian comedy. This first chapter makes you die of laughter but always remains very sad at the bottom, given this fact the film can be watched both as a comedy about the misfortunes of a man and as a drama where everyone makes fun of a poor man who tries hard. But it fails.

FANTOZZI (Luciano Salce, 1975) **1/2

This film is a veritable milestone in the history of Italian film comedy and was the start of a series of 10 outings (which spanned nearly 25 years) featuring the hapless titular character, the epitome of a working-class underdog (who had been introduced in novel form by star/co-writer Paolo Villaggio himself); in itself, while patchy overall, it’s still the second best in the entire series.

Here we are introduced to the characters which would reappear throughout the series: Fantozzi’s frumpy wife (which would eventually be played, from the third entry onwards, by Luis Bunuel regular Milena Vukotic), his hideous daughter who looks more like a monkey (actually played a boy – subsequently a man – in drag!); his overbearing colleagues – the ever-optimistic myopic organizer (Gigi Reder), the playboy figure who’s arrogant to his peers but utterly complacent to his superiors (Giuseppe Anatrelli), the free-spirited woman (Anna Mazzamauro) whom he desires but who’s really quite unattractive herself; the employers, as befits the satiric nature of the films, are depicted as near deities with their offices fitted with armchairs in human skin and in whose aquariums swim a selected number of ‘lucky’ employees!!

The first entry has its fair share of memorably comic sequences: the football game during a thunderstorm between single and married men, Fantozzi’s recurring mystical visions which invariably occur after having incurred a particularly heavy physical blow, the road rage sequence featuring a confrontation with a gang of thugs, the billiard game in which Fantozzi, after much verbal abuse, turns the tables on his superior and eventually kidnaps the latter’s love-struck mother as security against his vengeance and a scene at a Japanese restaurant where, among other calamities, samurai are lopping off the limbs of those customers who are not appreciative of their cuisine!!

Cool Italian humor

Ugo Fantozzi, a middle-aged accountant, lives in a poorly furnished apartment with an unloved wife and an ugly daughter. His life is full of failures and disappointments, misfortunes pour down on him like a bucket. However, Fantozzi is not without self-irony and self-esteem.