Review: ‘12 Plus 1’

Film is mainly of interest as being the last of the tragically fated Sharon Tate. It is a sort of madcap romantico comedy in the form of a chase for treasure hidden in a chair left by a recluse, with some added fashionable sex tidbits and some way-out extravagant interludes by such stalwarts as Orson Welles and Vittorio De Sica.

Film is mainly of interest as being the last of the tragically fated Sharon Tate. It is a sort of madcap romantico comedy in the form of a chase for treasure hidden in a chair left by a recluse, with some added fashionable sex tidbits and some way-out extravagant interludes by such stalwarts as Orson Welles and Vittorio De Sica.

Tate has charm and grace as a rather hardbitten American girl abroad who puts money before romance. Gassman is a Yank barber who is supposedly left an estate in Britain by an eccentric aunt. But he finds only a rundown house and some antique chairs that he immediately sells to get the fare back.

He finds a note from his aunt saying a fortune is hidden in one of the chairs. So the chase begins. Tate, who works in the gallery he sold the chairs to, teams up with him for a share of the loot. The chase leads to a bordello, an Afro embassy in Paris and a villa in Rome plus a zany interlude in a grand guignol theater run by Welles.

Pic has some good moments, but overall misses the light touch and forward propelling zest to keep this comedy from lagging. Producer Claude Giroux changed title from original 13 Chairs (from the old Russo tale) after the Tate murder.

12 Plus 1

Italy - France

Production

CEF/COFCI. Director Nicholas Gessner; Producer Claude Giroux; Screenplay Marc Behm, Nicholas Gessner; Camera Giuseppe Ruzzolini; Editor Giancarlo Cappelli; Music Piero Poletto, David Whitaker

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Vittorio Gassman Sharon Tate Orson Welles Vittorio De Sica Terry-Thomas Mylene Demongeot
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