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The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Saturday, January 29, 2000
Scipio the African
Luigi Magni Italy, 1971

(Scipione detto anche l'Africano). Full of references to contemporary political foibles, this comic send-up of the Roman Empire stars real-life brothers Marcello and Ruggero Mastroianni (a well known film editor) as respectively the brothers Scipio the African and Scipio the Asian. When his arch-enemy Cato the Censor (Vittorio Gassman) accuses him of corruption, the upright African sets out to prove his innocence, with unforeseen results. This being a Marcello film, the comedy inevitably spills into the bedroom, where the hero faces problems with his wife (Silvana Mangano).-UCLA Film and Television Archive

• Written by Luigi Magni. Photographed by Arturo Zavattini. With Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Ruggero Mastroianni, Silvana Mangano. (108 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, Color, 35mm)