Can we discuss Avanti!; Jack Lemmon & Billy Wilder film from 1972.

I just saw Avanti! last night on the Retro channel. Has anyone else seen it and what did you think of it.

This was an excellent dark comedy, much less insane than “Some like it Hot”. It seemed like a more intelligent film and I really enjoyed it.

There were some great little exchanges in the film. I especially noted the Hotel Manager asking about the safety of taking a job in Damascus and the American Envoy describing in detail what a powder keg the region in and then the Hotel Manager goes, “I guess I should take the NYC job.” to which the envoy replies, “Oh, in that case take Damascus.” :smiley: (This was 1972 after all)

I was surprised to see Juliet Mills in the nude and weighing a lot more than I remember her from in the “Nanny and the Professor”. I found on the IMDB that she gain 25 pounds to get the role. She was charming in the film and played off Jack Lemmon perfectly. The supporting cast was great.

The music and setting was beautiful. I wonder how accurate the portrayal of Southern Italy was. I know that my grandparent’s homeland was notorious for long lunches and crazy paperwork, so I am guessing that it was only exaggerated for comedic value and not totally off the mark.


A few years since I saw it but a film I loved. Thinking of the crazy paper work reminded me of the routine with the official and the rubber stamps :smiley:

That was a fun scene. The stamping was almost musical in nature. Reminded me a bit of something Ernie Kovacs may have come up with.

I loved the final wringing of the sponge at the Coroner was walking out of the morgue.


An underrated film. Love it. I actually have the script. The first scene between Lemmon and the hotel manager is seventeen pages long, and never lags onscreen. I defy a screenwriter today to write something that long (well, maybe Tarantino has) with no breaks, and keep it interesting.

Sir Rhosis