Hands off Me! | Chicago Reader

Hands off Me!

Toto, a music-hall performer who became one of Italy's most durable screen personalities, makes his film debut with this 1937 social comedy about a wily tramp whose hunger leads him into one madcap encounter after another. Like Keaton his face is both deadpan and remarkably expressive, and like Chaplin he goes for the heartstrings, taking an unfortunate moppet under his wing. But Toto was no auteur, and even as a clown he lacks discipline, mugging and lingering over his gags. This is basically a series of skits, and director Gero Zambuto does little more than park the camera in front of the action. With his verbal wit and talent for tricky wordplay, Toto is closer to someone like Bob Hope—entertaining but seldom enlightening. 73 min.

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