Il sorpasso (The Easy Life). 1962. Italy. Directed by Dino Risi. Screenplay by Dino Risi, Ettore Scola, Ruggero Maccari. With Jean-Lois Trintignant, Vittorio Gassman. In Italian; English subtitles. 108 min.
Premiering in a new 4K restoration, The Easy Life is Italian comedy at its best—hedonistic, ironically detached, and at times vicious and gloomy. A consummate road movie, Risi’s masterpiece charts the fickle bromance between the devil-may-care Bruno and his polite and gentle friend Roberto as they blaze in a sports car across the Italian countryside from Rome to Tuscany. Vittorio Gassman, as the unscrupulous scoundrel (in a role originally intended for Alberto Sordi), and Jean-Louis Trintignant, as the uptight law student, are a match made in cinematic heaven, their blooming (and fleeting) companionship colored by memorable encounters along the roadway. “This was the first time Gassman had made a comedy with his own face,” Risi observed. “Gassman’s character was prone to wishful thinking, inconsistent, superficial, aggressive, a bit of a Fascist, but with a certain impact, and I had a few people I knew in mind when I was creating him.” Digital restoration courtesy Luce Cinecittà, Cineteca di Bologna, Surf Film, Lyon Film Ltd, RTI Gruppo Mediaset.
Courtesy Janus Film, the official current US distributor.