During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Baltimore industrialist Wendell Armbruster crosses paths with London shop girl Pamela Piggott when they come to Ischia to pick up the bodies of her mother and his father, who have been killed in an automobile accident after a ten-year summertime affair. Straitlaced Wendell tries to avoid a scandal while free-spirited Pamela is impressed by the romantic setting. After some confusion with the bodies and a blackmail attempt by unscrupulous locals, Wendell and Pamela extend their parent's affair into the next generation.Written by
So much has been said about the plot of Avanti it seems pointless to go over the synopsis again- but I can say although I am a lover of Horror films, Thrillers and Westerns- it is Avanti that is my favourite film of all time.Avanti is gorgeous to look at and features a beautiful music score. How I wish I could obtain a soundtrack of this delightful score. The scene when Pamela Pigott ( Juliet Mills ) tours the city on a horse drawn carriage and later running from her new found admirers is beautiful with the music so perfect.Also when Pamela and Wendell ( Jack Lemmon ) have their evening meal together , it is again a beautiful music score. Jack Lemmon as the bombastic Wendell Armbruster is as always great. Juliet Mills as Pamela Pigott looks far too gorgeous to be ridiculed by Armbruster but she shines in her finest ever role. However for me the film is stolen completely by Clive Revill as the hotel manager- what a sublime performance. Watch his every movement, his every expression, his delivery of every line.It is a captivating performance, totally exquisite. Clive Revill is an actor sorely neglected by the film world.Billy Wilder's film is so very neglected and it's a pity as this is the perfect film. Watch the beautiful, poignant sequence at the mortuary as Pamela and Wendell view the bodies of their mother and father respectively. And again watch Clive Revill alongside Lemmon and Mills- acting with only movement, expression and not a word. The lighting in this scene is so wonderful, it is dark and depressing with the exception of a shaft of sunlight penetrating the smallest of windows. Wilder manages to wring excellent portrayals out of even the most minor of characters. Watch Avanti and savour the acting, the music and the scenery.
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