Nino Culotta is an Italian immigrant who arrived in Australia with the promise of a job as a journalist on his cousin’s magazine, only to find that when he gets there the magazine’s folded, the cousins done a runner & the money his cousin sent for the fare was borrowed from the daughter of the boss of a local construction firm. So Nino tries to get a job & finishes up … laying bricks. Nino works hard & makes friends with lots of locals, Nino & Kay argue a lot, Nino & Kay fall in love … Kay takes Nino to meet ‘Daddy’ but daddy hates journalists, immigrants and bricklayers (he’s now BOSS of a construction firm). Nino starts to win him over with his charm & determination to marry Kay.
Steve Crook <[email protected]>
User Reviews: The Powell buffs who know him mainly for his forties and fifties works,such as "a matter of life and death" "black narcissus" "gone to earth" ,not to mention "peeping tom" might be puzzled here.Actually the form is rather a mix up of Italian neorealism-but much more optimistic- and Italian comedies of the sixties and the seventies -but a bit more macho.
Actually,the lead recalls such Italian luminaries as Alberto Sordi and Nino Manfredi,but he’s not got the same charisma and the same comic skills.Although the sory takes place in Australia,it’s actually the same old story of the immigrante thinking that the country he’s heading for is depending on him.Thus the first part is arguably the best,particularly the scenes of the hero digging the earth in a chic suit and tie,complete with hat.The movie begins with a fake documentary à la "seven years itch" (1955)but Powell ‘s humour is no match for Wilder’s.
Only one short dialogue recalls the former work,as it happens,"Black narcissus": To his girlfriend’s father who cannot stand wops,the hero shows the picture of pope Paul VI,hanging on a wall,and says :"Isn’t he Italian?" It’s a nod to this scene in which Deborah Kerr does not want the young Indian to study in the mission because he’s a man.Shrewdly showing the Christ,he replies "HE was a man wasn’t HE?
This is mainly a curio,watchable ,but which is not representative of Powell’s genius.