Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Italy/France, 1964. Lux Film, Ultra Film, Vides Cinematografica, Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France. Story by Pietro Germi, Luciano Vincenzoni, Screenplay by Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, Pietro Germi, Luciano Vincenzoni. Cinematography by Aiace Parolin. Produced by Franco Cristaldi, Luigi Giacosi. Music by Carlo Rustichelli. Production Design by Carlo Egidi. Costume Design by Angela Sammaciccia. Film Editing by Roberto Cinquini. Cannes Film Festival 1964.
Absolutely hysterical follow-up to Divorce Italian Style, with Pietro Germi once again lampooning Italian society through the genre of sex comedy. A Sicilian family is rocked to the core when gorgeous daughter Stefania Sandrelli is left pregnant by her sister’s boyfriend, meaning that the already tempestuous patriarch of their venerable clan (Saro Urzì, deservedly taking a Best Actor prize at Cannes that year) is going to blow his lid dealing with it. He locks her up and threatens the life of her lover, but things get complicated when the young man suddenly decides he doesn’t want damaged goods (even though he damaged them), while she risks her reputation and name by taking it to the courts, prompting Urzi to convince his mild-mannered son to kill his sister’s seducer. Lots of slaps, lots of village gossip and plenty of pasta in a film directed with rich vigour and brimming over with as many laughs as issues, with characters who are both at the mercy of and in completely responsible for the ages-old social problems they face.