The Jester's Supper (film)

The Jester's Supper (Italian:La cena delle beffe) is a 1942 Italian historical film directed by Alessandro Blasetti and starring Amedeo Nazzari, Osvaldo Valenti and Clara Calamai.[1] It was based on a play of the same title by Sem Benelli, which had later been turned into an opera by Umberto Giordano. Like the play, the film is set in the 15th century Florence of Lorenzo the Magnificent and portrays a rivalry that leads to a series of increasingly violent jokes.

The Jester's Supper
Clara Calamai in the film
Directed byAlessandro Blasetti
Produced byGiuseppe Amato
Written bySem Benelli (play)
Renato Castellani
Alessandro Blasetti
StarringAmedeo Nazzari
Osvaldo Valenti
Clara Calamai
Alfredo Varelli
Music byGiuseppe Becce
CinematographyMario Craveri
Edited byMario Serandrei
Distributed byENIC
Release date
9 February 1942
Running time
87 minutes

Production and reception

It was shot at Cinecittà in Rome partly using sets which had been constructed for Blasetti's earlier The Iron Crown which was set in the same era. Amedeo Nazzari, the leading Italian star of the decade, was cast strongly against type. Usually Nazzari played romantic heroes or action men, but in the film he plays a loutish character and appeared without his trademark moustache.[2] A popular catchphrase associated with Nazzari originated in the film "a plague on anyone who refuses to drink with me!"[3]

The film was extremely popular and boosted the career of Clara Calamai in particular. In one scene she has her dress ripped off by Nazzari, briefly exposing her breasts in one of the first topless scenes in Italian cinema.[4] It was one of several films in which Osvaldo Valenti and Luisa Ferida, later executed in 1945, appeared together.



  1. Gundle p.188
  2. Gundle p.192
  3. Gundle p.103-04
  4. Gundle p.57


  • Gundle, Stephen. Mussolini's Dream Factory: Film Stardom in Fascist Italy. Berghahn Books, 2013.
  • Moliterno, Gino. The A to Z of Italian Cinema. Scarecrow Press, 2009.
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