The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal is based on Le Deux Vite di Mattia Pascal, one of Luigi Pirandello's many stories concerning the transitory nature of the intangibles "Truth" and "Identity" Marcello Mastrioanni is a downtrodden average man, treated like trash by his fiancee, scorned by his associates, and cheated out of his inheritance by contemptuous relatives. The dispirited Mastrioanni heads to Monte Carlo, where he accrues a fortune. He also assumes the identity of a less fortunate gambler who has committed suicide. The "new" Mastrioanni is treated with a dignity and respect that overwhelms him--and nearly kills him.
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