ADAMO ED EVA (1949)
aka Adam and Eve
Directed by Mario Mattoli
Featuring Erminio Macario, Isa Barzizza, Gianni Agus
What it is: Comedy
A romantically-entwined man and woman who work together at a salon have a discussion about the conflicts between the sexes after a man reads a book on the subject.
Given that there's a fair amount of fantastic content in the Biblical "Adam and Eve" story, it's no surprise that Walt Lee would include any movie so named in his Reference Guide to Fantastic Films. The trouble here is that, despite the title, this isn't a version of that story, but rather, a musical comedy that mostly serves as a framing device for a series of comic vignettes from throughout history and legend. Still, we're not short of fantastic content here; the movie does dabble in the original Adam and Eve story near the beginning of the movie, and there's some definite fantastic content (including a magician) in the Arabian Nights section of the story. Furthermore, there's the occasional anachronism (cigarettes during the Trojan war sequence, a flame-throwing machine gun during the wild west sequence) to add to the mix, and there's an air of unreality about the whole exercise; at times, the couple seems to be watching the events unfold on a stage in front of them, and the saloon in which the wild west section takes place looks more like a setting you would find in a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical than anything else. As far as how funny the whole thing is, I can't really say; I was only able to find a copy of the movie in Italian, and most of the humor is verbal (though the saloon fight has an ample amount of slapstick to it). The movie does come across as rather spirited, but its lukewarm rating on IMDB doesn't bode well. Still, I have to reserve judgment at this point.