Dirty Weekend (1973)    1 Stars

“From lechery to treachery in one easy blonde”

Dirty Weekend (1973)
Dirty Weekend (1973)


Director: Dino Risi

Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Oliver Reed, Carole André

Synopsis: A trio of bank robbers kidnap a businessman and his mistress.






An overweight Oliver Reed (Royal Flash, Gladiator) sports a walrus moustache and convincing German accent in Dirty Weekend (Mordi e fugge), a tepid Italian crime drama that makes only half-hearted stabs at commenting on the fact that the motivations behind anarchists and capitalists aren’t really all that different.

Reed plays a bank robber who, with his fellow robbers, a young man and a feminist woman, kidnaps businessman Marcello Mastroianni () and his mistress Carole André who are en-route to their eponymous dirty weekend. The robbers have killed a policeman after their robbery went wrong, so it isn’t long before the group are being pursued by a convoy of police and media reminiscent of that seen in Spielberg’s Sugarland Express. Upon discovering that Mastroianni is a wealthy industrialist, Reed is quick to demand a hefty ransom for his safe return.

The film is essentially a metaphorical examination of the Italian socio-political scene of the time, with both extremes of the social strata at odds with one another. In the middle is Carole Andre’s free-spirited mistress, who is disgusted by both her lover’s acquiescence to Reed’s demands, and by Reed’s bullying dominance of those around him. Despite this enmity, she sleeps with both of them, and her expression at the end of the film, when one man survives and the other perishes, is deliberately ambiguous. Whatever your interpretation of the story, the final scene undoubtedly observes that these brief disruptions to the uneasy status-quo will ultimately change nothing.

(Reviewed 23rd February 2012)

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