Synopsis

A Romanian peasant, visiting a friend who is working at a hotel on the Black Sea Riviera, is mistaken for a look-alike rich American businessman.

Uncle Marin, the Billionaire - comedy film online on CINEPUB

Directed by: Sergiu Nicolaescu
Cast: Amza Pellea, Draga Olteanu Matei, Jean Constantin, Ștefan Mihăilescu-Brăila, Sebastian Papaiani, Puiu Călinescu, Stela Popescu, Ștefan Bănică, Vasilică Tastaman, Hamdi Cerchez, Adina Popescu, Ștefan Thuri, Brândușa Manu, Corneliu Gîrbea, Mircea Albulescu, Colea Răutu, Gil Dobrică, Alexandru Dobrescu, Mihai Mălaimare
Script: Vintilă Corbul, Eugen Burada, Amza Pellea
Producers: Corneliu Leu
Cinematography by: Nicolae Girardi
Edited by: Gabriela Nasta
Sound: Andrei Papp
Muzică: Ileana Popovici
Year: 1979
Category: feature film
Genre: Comedy
Duration: 88 minutes

157,306 – Cinepub viewers

PLOT SUMMARY

Uncle Marin (played by Amza Pellea), who arrives at the seaside, wakes up overnight in the role of an American billionaire who must deal with mafia, the press, a life of luxury, and so on. However, this does not scare him. He handles things calmly, just like in his village, where Veta (played by Draga Olteanu-Matei) was his main advisor and, last but not least, his wife. With a spectacular cast, Sergiu Nicolaescu manages to hit the mark and create the most famous Romanian comedy.

More details

One of the most successful comedies in Romanian cinematography, “Uncle Marin, The Billionaire” is one of the most popular films among audiences of the last two generations. The famous Uncle Marin, the most typical and humorous Oltenian of all times, portrayed by the incomparable Amza Pellea, becomes mistaken for a billionaire due to his striking resemblance. From this moment on, madness ensues, as the comical Uncle Marin, with his leek in hand, gets into all sorts of hilarious situations as a result of this case of mistaken identity.

Caught up in the moment, Uncle Marin forgets that he had gone to the seaside for a little relaxation and begins to get into character. Things get even more complicated when his wife, Veta (Draga Olteanu Matei), rushes to the coast to reclaim her husband. Her surprise is not small when she finds him in the arms of a blonde, dancing romantically to a song by Gil Dobrica, in a scene that has become memorable.

Of course, the ever-present and clumsy Suca (Sebastian Papaiani) also makes a spectacular appearance.

CRITICAL REVIEWS

“Created entirely by Amza Pellea, he is the work of an excellent actor and keen observer of human psychology, endowed with a great deal of humoristic invention, the character not having a previous mythical configuration, like Păcală or Tândală. Now Uncle Marin exists in full, having an undeniable identity, which constitutes his main artistic virtue, by no means negligible. Sergiu Nicolaescu only had to release him in the film, because whatever its quality, Nea Mărin, and now a billionaire, fills the theaters.”Ovidiu S. Crohmălniceanu

DIRECTOR ABOUT THIS FILM:

In an interview published in January 1973 in the humor magazine Urzica, director Sergiu Nicolaescu was asked if he ever considers making a comedy. The filmmaker stated that he has “a gloomy disposition” and doesn’t believe he has a sense of humor, characterizing himself as a serious person. In his opinion, “comedy is a difficult genre to approach, and rarely does it rise to superior quality.”

He found comedies in recent years to be weaker compared to films from the “golden age of comedy,” where audiences would laugh heartily. However, the director admitted that he found films featuring Laurel and Hardy particularly amusing.

Nevertheless, the filmmaker did not rule out the possibility of making a comedy someday. “I will make a comedy someday. I believe that of all film genres, comedy is the most challenging. For me,” he stated.

TRIVIA

  • The intro scene was filmed on December 7th, 1978, in the Frankfurt Airport. Because the filming crew didn’t have visas for West Germany, it had to film inside the international area of the airport only.West German authorities allowed the crew to film, without charging any fees or requiring any permits.
  • Director Sergiu Nicolaescu was very stressed about making a comedy film because he had no experience in this genre.Moreover, he said that good comedy cinema is difficult to achieve.
  • The movie was filmed at the Black Sea Riviera, a popular holiday destination for Romanians since the 1970s when the Riviera was extensively developed to match western standards.
  • Romanian actor Sebastian Papaiani, who plays the character Gogu in the film, was selected at the suggestion of actor Amza Pellea.Actor Sebastian Papaiani couldn’t keep a straight face and was laughing during the takes, forcing Director Sergiu Nicolaescu to stop the filming.During a scene, where Papaiani fell over a hotel chair, the actor broke two ribs.Even after filming, actors Papaiani and Pellea continued to speak with an Oltenian accent.
  • This film was made with the cooperation of the Romanian Defense Ministry, the Tourism Ministry and the Romanian Airlines TAROM.

LINES

Gogu: Uncle Marin, God took you in his hand. You’ll get a billionaire’s room.
Uncle Marin Juvete: I won’t sleep in there!
Gogu: Leave that damn bag. You’re a billionaire now!

ARTICLES

  • „Uncle Marin, the Billionairer” – film chronicle – Alice Mănoiu – 1979 – aarc.ro
  • „Uncle Marin, the Billionairer” – romaniadinromania.ro

This premiere is part of a national archive project supported by the Romanian National Film Centre.
Special thanks goes to the Romanian Filmmakers Union and to the Romanian Film Archive.

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