Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Crazy Kids of the War (1967)

American pilot Peter Hawkins (Jess Hahn) is shot down over occupied Italy by an incompetent group of Nazi soldiers. He is rescued by a group of priests and is befriend by the feisty Rita (Rita Pavone) and an absent minded professor, Giuliano (Terence Hill). It turns out that the professor has created a rocket which will make rain. The Nazi's are determined to have this creation for themselves and the unlikely trio of Giuliano, Rita and Peter begin a cross country trek, always one step ahead of their enemies.

A Italian-French production, and directed by Steno, this was the second of two films made by Hill and Pavone, and like the better known Little Rita of the West, it is amusingly chaotic, complete with random moments of song. Jess Hahn, an American actor who mainly starred in French films, plays a Bud Spencer-esque character who is obsessed with eating. The film co-stars Francis Blanche, Aroldo Tieri, Teddy Reno and Michel Modo. The German's are reminiscent of the television series, Hogans Heroes. They are buffoonish and easily led, by the end of the film one of them even helps the heroes!

Happily for Terence fans, his role in this is greater than Little Rita. The professor is dozy but kind, he wants to spend his days working on his inventions but frequently has his plans waylaid by Rita. Initially they resent one another, but eventually romance blossoms. The trio are forced to impersonate Nazi's with often hilarious results.
Bizarrely there is even a Beatles spoof at the end of the film!

For anyone interested in watching this film the company, 'Cheezy Flicks', has a copy released on DVD.  It is not perfect (there are a couple of song sequences missing), but this does not hinder the basic plot or the enjoyment of this crazy picture!

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