Watch Avanti!

  • R
  • 1972
  • 2 hr 20 min
  • 7.2  (11,562)

Avanti! is a romantic comedy film from 1972 directed by Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, and Clive Revill. It tells the story of Wendell Armbruster Jr. (played by Lemmon), a successful businessman who travels to Italy to claim the body of his father who died in a car accident while on vacation. When he arrives in Rome, he meets Pamela Piggott (played by Mills), the daughter of his father's mistress, who was also killed in the same accident. Together they venture to the island of Ischia, where their parent's bodies were taken. Along the way, they encounter a host of eccentric characters and unexpected revelations that alter their perceptions of their parents and themselves.

The film opens with Wendell Jr., a ruthless businessman in Baltimore, receiving a phone call from his company's representative in Italy informing him of his father's death. He is initially reluctant to go to Italy, but is informed that his father's will states that he cannot claim his inheritance until he has personally brought back his father's body. He is also informed that his father's mistress was with him when he died, and that her daughter, Pamela, is there as well. Initially hostile towards one another, Wendell Jr. and Pamela eventually strike up a romance as they explore the island of Ischia together.

Throughout the film, the characters are confronted with unexpected revelations about their parents' lives, which in turn alters their perceptions of their own lives. For example, Wendell Jr. discovers that his father had been leading a double life, and had been spending time in Italy with his mistress for years. He also discovers that his father had been keeping a diary, which he uses to piece together the events leading up to his father's death. Similarly, Pamela discovers that her relationship with her mother was more complicated than she had realized, and that her mother had been keeping secrets from her.

In addition to the main characters, the film is full of quirky and memorable supporting characters. These include the garrulous hotelier who shows Wendell Jr. and Pamela to their rooms, the eccentric Italian doctor who verifies the cause of death, and the saucy hotel maid who offers to show Wendell Jr. around the island. These characters add to the overall charm and humor of the film.

One of the strengths of Avanti! is its setting. The film was shot on location in Italy, and the island of Ischia provides a picturesque backdrop for the events of the film. The local culture and customs are depicted in loving detail, and the film provides a window into a way of life that feels both timeless and specific to this particular place.

Another strength of the film is the chemistry between Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills. They play off each other well, and their relationship feels believable and nuanced. Lemmon in particular shines in the role of Wendell Jr., bringing depth and emotional complexity to a character that could have easily been played as one-dimensional.

Overall, Avanti! is an engaging and charming film that combines elements of romance, comedy, and drama. It is a testament to Billy Wilder's skill as a director that he is able to balance these elements so deftly, creating a film that feels both light-hearted and profound. The film serves as a reminder that even in the midst of loss and tragedy, there is always the possibility of new beginnings and surprising discoveries.

Avanti! is a 1972 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 20 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.

Where to Watch Avanti!
Avanti! is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Avanti! for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 20 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (11,562)