Mambo

 

Directed by Robert Rossen - All the King's Men (1949), The Hustler (1961)
Produced by Dino De Laurentiis - producer of many of Federico Fellini films

If watched with care and a creative mind, the opening credit scenes tell the whole story - one of the top 10 opening 5 minutes of all the 1000s of films under our belt - not far from "A Touch of Evil" quality - a sequence especially for persons inclined to the sensuousness of dance and the human condition.

A Short Synopsis: Silvana Mangano (a very lovely & sexy voiced actress) plays a young, poor Venetian woman, Giovanna Masetti. She is struggling with an difficult life as a shop assistant when one day a young count Enrico sees her in the glass shop where she works. She gets invited to the masquerade ball (ah - if they would have parties like this now - oh wow) with the help of her unscrupulous boyfriend Mario's dirty deal with the count - the glorious evening does not turn out well, not at all. One bright moment to this disastrous evening is Giovanna's meeting up with a troupe of MAMBO dancers in particular the troupe leader, Toni Salerno (Shelley Winters).

The misadventures of the masquerade tip the scale for Giovanna - she finally decides to follow her dream to go to Roma - to become a dancer - her real life from now starts. After serious effort - Giovanna briefly finds fame becoming the star of the group. After a european tour, the group return to Venice - Giovanna's old reality reemerges & her love for Mario burns fresh and hot, but the count, Enrico reenters this twisted 'menage de troi' with an bizarre twist.

Let's finish with Silvana's closing lines: "Perhaps in my third world, the absorbing world of the Mambo, I could find forgetfulness of the past, and in time peace and happiness."