Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
Italy/France/USA, 1967. Joseph E. Levine Productions, Embassy Pictures. Screenplay by Cesare Zavattini. Cinematography by Christian Matras. Produced by Arthur Cohn. Music by Riz Ortolani. Production Design by Bernard Evein. Costume Design by Marcel Escoffier. Film Editing by Teddy Darvas, Victoria Mercanton. Golden Globe Awards 1967.
Director Vittorio de Sica and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini attempt to recreate the success of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow but fail miserably to hit the same mark. Now, instead of enjoying Sophia Loren playing three women we have the pleasure of Shirley MacLaine playing seven of them in a series of vignettes about ladies who are driven to adultery for a number of reasons. She’s a widow who finds her next man while walking her husband’s funeral cortege, another who catches her husband in bed and decides to try her luck as a hooker, an ignored wife whose desire to be the star of her husband’s fiction makes her insane, a rich bitch who gets murderous when another woman goes to the opera in the same dress as her (probably the funniest of all the stories), a UN translator who loves to read Sartre in the nude, a bored housewife who is delighted by the attentions of a stalker, and a married woman who decides to commit suicide with her married lover. None of the stories are particularly funny, all of them conclude unsatisfactorily, and while MacLaine shows an incredible amount of range with each character (she’s believable in every scene), the roles never ripen enough to let her shine in any single one. De Sica appears to be phoning the direction in, leaving MacLaine to be the only one having a good time while a number of her famous co-stars (including Peter Sellers, Anita Ekberg, Elsa Martinelli, Michael Caine and Vittorio Gassman) are left high and dry.