Swept Away (1974)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

Original title:  Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino Nell’Azzurro Mare D’Agosto

Italy, 1974.  Medusa Distribuzione.  Screenplay by Lina Wertmuller.  Cinematography by , , , .  Produced by .  Music by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Franco Fraticelli. National Board of Review Awards 1975.   New York Film Critics Awards 1975.  

Lina Wertmuller’s politically minded romantic comedy fable has all the subtlety of an atom bomb, but it is also intelligently directed and enjoyable to watch.  plays an impossibly bitchy heiress whose trip aboard a yacht with her friends becomes a nightmare when she and her much-abused servant (Giancarlo Giannini) take a jaunt out on a small boat and end up losing their party. Washed up on a deserted island, they must now play a new game of class warfare when they realize that he is the one who can survive easily on his well-honed skills while she is completely at his mercy. Initially taking a lot of abuse from him as he gets revenge for her evil ways, the two of them eventually discover a deep erotic attraction followed by true love. Are they souls meant to be united forever, or will their relationship change the minute they re-enter the real world, if ever they do? The film was remade three decades later as a box-office fiasco starring Madonna, but this one is definitely the better of the two.

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