Friday, May 2, 2014

Rosalba Neri Friday # 19 - TWO MAFIOSI AGAINST GOLDGINGER 1965

Some more Euro-Spy "James Bond" stuff with Rosalba in an Italian GOLDFINGER knock-off !


   Here’s Rosalba in DUE MAFIOSI CONTRO GOLDGINGER (TWO MAFIOSO AGAINST GOLDGINGER), a 1965 Italian/Spanish co-production comedy that was one of literally dozens (if not hundreds) of European James Bond style spy adventures that appeared in the mid to late 60’s. After the gigantic worldwide success of 1964’s GOLDFINGER these were seemingly cranked out every week as this was one of four that Rosalba appeared in from 1964-65. In addition this was one of sixteen films that she appeared in during that same period as she alternated between spy, peplums, spaghetti westerns & sex comedies.

   Starring the Sicilian comedy team of Franco& Ciccio (Franco Franchi & Ciccio Ingrassia) this was a pretty direct parody of many of the smaller plot points & details from GOLDFINGER (hence the title) and was later bought by A.I.P. and shown on American television under the title THE AMAZING DR. G.  Franco & Ciccio were one of the most popular comedy teams in Italy appearing in over 100 (!!) films starting in the early 60s with spoofs of westerns, spy, peplums and adventure movies ( among them Mario Bava’s DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE GIRL BOMBS starring Vincent Price). It’s been said that a little of them goes a long way as Franco’s excessive over the top Jerry Lewis style of mugging does get on your nerves after awhile, although some of the sight gags in GOLDGINGER are kind of amusing such as their use of the duck head disguise (from the GOLDFINGER pre-credit sequence) or their mishaps in James Bond style equipped car.

   The pair play a couple of bumbling photographers who are recruited by the British Secret Service after the death of Agent 007 (George Hilton – from bunches of spaghetti westerns) who’s been on the trail of “Goldginger” (Fernando Rey from THE FRENCH CONNECTION) the master villian who’s been using a mind control device on various leaders of the world in order to start a war between the U.S. and Russia. The first part of the film contains numerous nods to GOLDFINGER including the above mentioned ducks & car, along with a bald henchman in suit and bowler and a table top laser beam device (although here replaced by a dual circular saw).
    With about 10 minutes of screen time (and not making it past the 30 minute mark) Rosalba plays Agent 0024 who first appears as one of Goldginger’s “Gingergirls”, who are all dressed in one piece black jumpsuits and blonde wigs. She’s reveled as double agent after helping our pair of heroes initially escape and then ends up doing a Shirley Eaton impression by being painted gold from head to toe as reprisal and is even laid out in bed in the exact same position (for a comedy there’s a large amount of killing going on around here).
   As in some of her other early roles she’s credited “Rosalba Neri C.S.C.” which stand for il Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (The Center for Experimental Cinematography) which was a film school she attended.    

   The film jets around to various locations and Fernando Rey seems to be having a massively fun time in the role of the chess playing criminal mastermind. Also in the cast is the very pretty London born actress Gloria Paul who was up for the part as Domino in THUNDERBALL that ultimately went to Claudine Auger. For some more Euro-spy stuff please check out Dwrayger Dungeon on Wednesdays as there's going to be an ongoing series on them (and plus its a really cool blog).
  Next up on Rosalba Neri Friday will be THE FRENCH SEX MURDERS from 1972 starring Rosalba, Barbara Bouchet, Anita Ekberg, Evelyne Kraft and Howard Vernon. Holy Crap !


  1. I love to watch Bond spoofs - so I need to see this one. I did see the Italian comics in the Goldfoot movie - and they do tend to wear out their welcome before the end credits. Interesting that they used the circular saw instead of the laser - as that's how the scene plays out in the book Goldfinger - as the laser had not been developed when Ian Fleming wrote the book in the 1950's. Has this been officially released in any good version - or is it on YouTube looking rough?

  2. Hi Craig
    The only copies are floating around from the torrent sites. Email me if you want a copy. I'd forgotten about the saw in Goldfinger. I read all the Fleming Bond books about 30 years ago and have been meaning to re-visit them.