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Divorce Italian Style (1961)
"Divorzio all'italiana" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  17 September 1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 7,610 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 38 critic

A married Sicilian baron falls in love with his cousin and vows to wed her, but with divorce illegal he must concoct a crime of passion to do away with his wife.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ferdinando Cefalù
Daniela Rocca ...
Rosalia Cefalù
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Carmelo Patanè
Odoardo Spadaro ...
Don Gaetano Cefalù
Margherita Girelli ...
Angela Cardile ...
Lando Buzzanca ...
Rosario Mulè
Pietro Tordi ...
Attorney De Marzi
Ugo Torrente ...
Don Calogero
Antonio Acqua ...
Bianca Castagnetta ...
Donna Matilde Cefalù
Giovanni Fassiolo ...
Don Ciccio Matara
Ignazio Roberto Daidone
Francesco Nicastro


Baron Fefé Cefalù is a Sicilian nobleman bored of life and of wife Rosalia: he falls in love with young and beautiful cousin Angela, who spends summers in the same palace. Since divorce is impossible in Italy in the 1960s, he decides to kill the wife, knowing that sentence would be very light if he proved that he committed murder for a matter of honour, i.e. when he found the wife together with another man. Therefore, he starts finding a lover for Rosalia, using Carmelo Patané, a painter well-known by her. Written by Alessio F. Bragadini <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The cutest comedy import in a long time!!! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 September 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Divorce Italian Style  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Co. System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film the villagers crowd into the cinema to see, La Dolce Vita (1960), was released the year before this film and also starred Marcello Mastroianni. See more »


When Ferdinando gets in bed with Rosalia after their fight, Rosalia's head facings change significantly between shots. See more »


Featured in Delighting in Contrasts (2005) See more »


Una furtiva lacrima
from opera "L'elisir d'amore"
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
See more »

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User Reviews

Divorzio all'italiana
22 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Baron Ferdinando Cefalu is very much in love with his cousin, Angela, and wishes to marry her. The only problem? He's already married. Since divorce is outlawed the Baron decides to get rid of his wife with a lesser crime: murder. "Divorce, Italian Style" is a pitch black satire of a chauvinist society and Italy's hypocritical judicial system.

Marcello Mastroianni, best known for his starring role in 8 1/2, is delightfully woeful and sarcastic as Baron Cefalu. His expressions and his nervous tics provide several good chuckles. Daniela Rocca is perfectly annoying as Baroness Cefalu, making it quite easy to take delight in her husband's murderous fantasies. Stefania Sandrelli is quite good as Angela. Her scenes with Mastroianni are especially passionate and, since this was one of Sandrelli's earliest films, they show a real talent in the making.

While I did laugh at "Divorce, Italian Style" (as well as that amazing Criterion cover art), don't expect a straight up comedy. It does make a serious point about the failings of Italy's judicial system. I will also admit that watching Baroness Cefalu drown in quicksand was an unpleasant sight, and not funny at all. Watching her get blasted into space = side-splitting laughter. Watching her drown in quicksand = uncomfortable.

However, don't be detered from this film. If you've never seen any of Mastroianni's films this is the one to start with.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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