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

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  17 September 1962 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 7,557 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

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

Storyline

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 <alessio@dsnet.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A delightfully daring plan to give marriage a surprise ending! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Divorce Italian Style  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Co. System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The young girl whom Ferdinando checks out on the train at the beginning is Stefania Sandrelli. She also plays the character Angela in the film. See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

Referenced in How to Murder Your Wife (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

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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