Directed by: Jean-Pierre Mocky
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Philippe Noiret, Roland Dubillard
Language: French | Subtitles: English
Also known as: Le témoin, Il testimone
Description: Invited to renovate works of art, Antonio Berti leaves Italy for France.Arriving in France,Berti meets businessman Robert Maurisson,who along with wanting Berti to clean up the paintings,also controls large parts of the city with his business dealings.Deciding that “remaking” the paintings is the best option,the guys get a young girl called Cathy Massys to model for them. Showing herself to be sexually active well beyond her years,Massys starts having sex with Maurisson. Attempting to keep Maurisson’s events quiet,Berti runs into trouble,when Massys is found dead.
View on the film: Set against a “classical” Film Noir backdrop,the screenplay by co- writer/(along with Sergio Amidei/Augusto Caminito/Jacques Dreux/Harrisson Jude/Rodolfo Sonego & Alberto Sordi) director Jean- Pierre Mocky performs an acid attack on Film Noir,as the deliciously vulgar dialogue rubs up Berti and Maurisson dirty crimes.Taking a risqué bite with Lolita style tarts with hearts,the writers brilliant blend murky sexuality with brittle Film Noir,thanks to Maurisson interest in Massys pulling everyone into a deadly tar pit.
Openly showing the girls topless, Mocky & cinematographer Sergio D’Offizi give the movie an unexpected cheeky comedic charm via stylish swinging shots keeping to the beat of Piero Piccioni’s peculiar score. Firing the acid on the screen in B & W, Mocky casts an excellent, elegantly dirty Film Noir atmosphere over the screen,which shines in scattered side shots which peak at the unease gripping the guys.
Entering as an outsider, Alberto Sordi gives a great performance as Antonio Berti,whose playfulness Berti drowns out with an awareness of being a Film Noir loner looking up at the axe.Trying to keep his misdeeds in the shadows, Philippe Noiret gives an excellent performance as Maurisson,thanks to Noiret covering Maurisson in a slippery,deadly charm,in a Mocky film which should not be mocked.