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Wife for a Night (1952)
"Moglie per una notte" (original title)

 |  Comedy  |  12 July 1952 (Italy)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 98 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

A poor musician hires a courtesan to pose as his wife so he can "give" her to a wealthy count in return for patronage.


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Credited cast:
Gino Cervi ...
Count D'Origo
Nadia Gray ...
Armando Francioli ...
Enrico Belli
Paolo Stoppa ...
Galeazzo Benti ...
Paolo Panelli ...
Eugenia Tavani ...
Grand Duchess
Nietta Zocchi ...
Marisa Pintus ...
Silvio Bagolini ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Liana Del Balzo
Olga Gherardi
Livia Venturini
Livia Vitale


A libidinous count, out of his wife's sight, pursues a mysterious woman. The town's mayor knows she is Geraldine, a femme fatale. He hatches a plot to help his nephew, Enrico, stage an opera he composed: the mayor tells the count that the mystery woman is his nephew's wife, Ottavia. Geraldine is willing to play along; she goes to Enrico's house to receive the count as Ottavia. Ottavia, shy and plain, lies low at Geraldine's, where the maid dresses and schools her. Enrico proves possessive of Geraldine, she enjoys Enrico's jealousy, the count stomps over to Geraldine's, and Ottavia may take revenge with the count for Enrico's attentions to Geraldine. Will the opera reach the stage? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A gay and risqué comedy! Sparkling and sophisticated!




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Release Date:

12 July 1952 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Wife for a Night  »

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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Version of Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Delightful farce
12 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a delightful farce about infidelity, fidelity, marriage and playing around. Don't expect nudity, but you can expect laughs, wit, imagination, excitement, and above all great humanity. If it were an American movie, it would be called a romantic comedy, but it is more than that. It is in the grand tradition of the comedy of manners which exposes the weaknesses of all the characters but still allows us to see them as deeply human. When the husband lusts after the famous courtesan, we see ourselves in similar moments. When the courtesan envies the married couple, we remember what it was like sometimes to be single and wish we weren't.

The cast, particularly the women, are excellent. The lovely Nadia Gray is more than capable of playing the courtesan. Fascinating, able to easily handle men, coquettish, she is wise but also slightly jaded, joyful but slightly sad and stylish but still longing for a simpler life without feeling sorry for herself. The real surprise and pleasure is Gina Lollobrigida. Gina has never been considered in the highest ranks of actresses, and in fact her talents do not quite ascend to that stellar level. However, she is certainly underrated. Considered simply a pretty face with a voluptuous body, she is also an intelligent actress with many moods and charms. Seeing her convincingly play a plain, unattractive wife is in itself an eyeopener. But then to see her transform herself into a beauty, is truly amazing. Mainly she does it by simply looking pretty or looking plain. There is certainly no CG or tricks with makeup. Her acting is also quite respectable as she plays a devoted and chaste wife who ends up in a sexually compromising situation. She is embarrassed but thrilled, confused but clearly has a natural way of pleasing men. She is innocent yet artful, naive yet clever, intellectual but clearly filled with unexpressed passion; in fact, she steals the show.

Gina is on my short list of actresses who are underrated, right up there with Tuesday Weld, and Hailey Mills. Nicolle Kidman used to be on this list about 5 years ago.

The movie was remade by Billy Wilder as "Kiss Me Stupid" which is also quite good in its own right and is historically significant for playing an important role in bringing down the Hollywood production code. "Wife for a Night" may not be a great movie but it is very entertaining. I'd give it a 6 but because of Gina's performance, it gets a 7.

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