Review: ‘Leo the Last’

An absurd satire on dethroned European royalty with a neo-realistic view of the London ghetto.

An absurd satire on dethroned European royalty with a neo-realistic view of the London ghetto.

Marcello Mastroianni, the last of his line, lives in exile in a magnificent London townhouse at the end of a cul-de-sac in a black ghetto area. He is a totally ineffectual, sheltered sickly man, whose only human contacts are a flock of parasitic social magpies.

Footage on the ghetto comings and goings, as orchestrated by director John Boorman, has a gritty documentary feel.

There is a grotesquely hilarious scene of a mass nude water therapy of Mastroianni’s entourage led by society doctor David de Keyser.

But the two sequences are all that work in Leo. The rest is at best silly, at worst pretentious allegory and unsuccessful social comment.

Leo the Last

UK

Production

United Artists. Director John Boorman; Producer Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler; Screenplay William Stair, John Boorman; Camera Peter Suschitzky; Editor Tom Priestley; Music Fred Myrow; Art Director Tony Wollard

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Marcello Mastroianni Billie Whitelaw Calvin Lockhart Glenna Forster-Jones Vladek Sheybal Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies

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