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Sunday, June 19, 2022
Argento took a break from giallo with this broad and bleak farce, a period piece set during Italy’s Revolutions of 1848 and shot near the beginning of its infamous “Years of Lead” (two decades of social and political strife). Popular singer/songwriter Adriano Celentano stars as an unlucky thief who falls into a series of comic misadventures as he and his happy-go-lucky companion (Enzo Cerusico) search for “Liberty” (Glauco Onorato), an ex-brigand–turned–saintlike revolutionary. Inspired by events that were documented in Milanese citizens’ journals, the director’s most overtly political movie warns viewers not to be seduced by nationalistic demagogues and the mobs that serve them. Rarely seen after it bombed at the domestic box office, The Five Days evokes the spaghetti western’s characteristic mix of violence, political ambivalence, and gallows humor. 4K digital restoration by Cinecittà.