Fantasmi a Roma (Ghosts of Rome). 1961. Italy. Directed by Antonio Pietrangeli. In Italian; English subtitles. 105 min.
Screenplay by Antonio Pietrangeli, Ennio Flaiano, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola, Sergio Amidei. Cinematography by Guiseppe Rotunno. Music by Nino Rota. With Marcello Mastroianni, Sandra Milo, Eduardo De Filippo, Tino Buazzelli, Vittorio Gassman, Claudio Gora. Pietrangeli’s star-studded comic fantasy displays the fine hand of the Roman satirist, playwright, and screenwriter Ennio Flaiano, fresh from the success of La Dolce vita. Life is still sweet for the aging aristocrat Prince Hannibal Roviano (Eduardo De Filippo), although he lives it alone among the ancestral ghosts who haunt the family mansion. But when the prince dies and ownership passes to his dissolute nephew (Marcello Mastroianni, in one of his three roles in the film), the ghosts must intervene to prevent the decaying palace from being turned into a discotheque. Their solution: recruit the ghost of a 16th-century painter (Vittorio Gassman) to whip up a hidden fresco magnificent enough to certify the building as a national treasure.