Febbre da cavallo

Febbre da cavallo

Febbre da cavallo, otherwise known as Horse Fever,  is a comedy that is based in Rome, Italy and follows the comical lives of a group of friends who spend their days at the race track.

In contrast to many of the gambling films that have been created over time, this film speaks about the dangers of gambling, however does so in a light-hearted manner.

The film features 94 minutes of light Italian humour, and although it was deemed to be forgotten after its time in the theatres, it has been played on numerous TV channels and has, over time, said to have gained cult-classic status.

Cast & Crew

Febbre da cavallo was directed by the late Stefano Vanzina, otherwise known as Steno, who was not only a film director but also a screenwriter and a cinematographer. He is most famous for both Febbre da cavallo and the 1954 film, Un giorno in pretura, and was involved in over 30 different productions.

Produced by Roberto Infascelli, this comedy film was written by Steno himself, as well as Alfredo Giannetti, Massimo Patrizi and Enrico Vanzina.

The cast list features the popular Italian actor Gigi Proietti, who plays the role of Bruno Fioretti, a character that goes by the nickname Mandrake. Other credited actors include Enrico Montesano as Armando Pellicci (whose nickname is Er Pomata), Catherine Spaak as Mandrake’s girlfriend, Gabriella, Mario Carotenuto as Avv. De Marchis and Francesco De Rosa as Felice.

Febbre da Cavallo Plot

This film follows a story that revolves around a horse racing track, and in particular, the people who go there to place bets and gamble away their money. The protagonist’s real name is Bruno Fioretti, but goes by the nickname Mandrake when addressed by friends.

Mandrake is setting out to marry his girlfriend, Gabriella, however, a constant mishap with regards to placing winning bets proves to be a setback for the couples move into married life. Mandrake’s closest friends, and fellow race track goers, are Armando, who is referred to as Pomata, and Felice, who is on the verge of escaping his creditors.

In spite of the fact that they never seem to bet on the right horses, a day filled with excitement appears when Gabriella gives Mandrake the idea to bet on the names of three different horses in one race. Pomata, however, is convinced that this would be a silly move and it would be far wiser to focus on what he thinks is going to be a sure winner. Chaos and laughter ensues as the bets are placed and gun goes off!

Production Notes

In the opening credits of the film, Gigi Proietti’s full name is credited, namely Luigi Proietti. There are a few fun facts about the production of the film, including the fact that the actor who plays the director in one of the scenes is actually voiced by the director of Febbre da cavallo, Steno.

In 2002 Febbre da cavallo was filmed in a sequel, also starring Gigi Proietti, and was called Febbre da cavallo – La mandrakata. The sequel film was in actual fact directed by Steno’s son, Carlo Vanzina.