Extremely elegant portrayal of fascism as a mental disease. Reminiscent of the colorful universe of "The Conformist" it revels in attractive shots, in line with the charms of the female cast (particularly the voluptuous B. Bouchet). Its lush photography compensates for some schematic dialogue. Ambiguous in its view on sexuality, it makes great use of the spatial coordinates of the mental hospital. A handsome film.
Asylums are places that cinema have often visited. With the castle and the cemetery, the asylum is one of the favorite settings of horror directors. It's also an ideal place to recreate and comment the outside world, the society. So, in Per le antiche scale, Mauro Bolognini tells us that fascism could be a kind of madness. You may also enjoy the production design and the women surrounding Mastroianni. Recommended.