Lucky Girls is the name New World Pictures gave to Qui comincia l’avventura or the even better title Blonde In Black Leather. It was directed by Carlo Di Palma, who is probably better known for his cinematography on movies like Mighty AphroditeShadows and FogHannah and Her Sisters, and, under the name Charles Brown, Terror-Creatures from the Grave. He also directed Teresa the Thief and was a focus puller all the way back in 1948 on Bicycle Thieves.

He co-wrote this film with Barbara Alberti, who also worked on one of my favorite films, Hotel Fear, and Amedeo Pagani, who had collaborated with Alberti on that film and The Night Porter.

What emerges is a charming romp in which the leather-clad Miele (Monica Vitti, dubbed by Carolyn De Fonseca) takes her friend Claudia (Claudia Cardinale, The Butterfly Affair) on an episodic adventure driven by the sheer force of the personality of its leads. Miele spends one moment having her leather suit hand polished while she’s wearing it; if you were Claudia, slaving in a laundrette for a horrible husband, wouldn’t you leave behind your mediocre life and jump on the back of Miele’s motorcycle?

There’s also an incredible moment where Miele and Claudia outfight every man in a casino and the scene almost takes on a filmstrip feeling where with each click, we’re seeing her knock out another man. As if that isn’t enough, the score by Riz Ortolani makes it all work even better.

By the end, maybe Miele is more of a tall tale teller than we originally believe, but she’s given agency and escape to Claudia. Consider this Thelma and Louise but with a happier close.

New World released this on a double feature with Candy Stripe Nurses, which is what I call a dream night at the drive-in.

The fabulous Temple of Schlock shared this image of it playing under the Blonde In Black Leather title.

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