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Divorce Italian Style (1961)

Divorzio all'italiana (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 17 September 1962 (USA)
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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(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Carmelo Patanè
Odoardo Spadaro ...
Don Gaetano Cefalù
Margherita Girelli ...
Sisina
Angela Cardile ...
Agnese
...
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
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Storyline

Ferdinando Cefalù is desperate to marry his cousin, Angela, but he is married to Rosalia and divorce is illegal in Italy. To get around the law, he tries to trick his wife into having an affair so he can catch her and murder her, as he knows he would be given a light sentence for killing an adulterous woman. He persuades a painter to lure his wife into an affair, but Rosalia proves to be more faithful than he expected. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The cutest comedy import in a long time!!! 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Co. System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stefania Sandrelli had problems crying in the scene where Marcello Mastroianni got spat on for being a cuckold by Carmelo Patanè's wife. After many wasted takes and having been prompted by an onlooker, director Pietro Germi--with an unlit half cigar in his mouth--got up from his chair, walked over to her and gave her two good slaps. Sandrelli was embarrassed because she had been slapped in front of hundreds of people and really did begin crying ,and the the scene was finally shot. See more »

Goofs

When Ferdinando writes the anonymous letter to himself, the picture he draws is completely different between shots regarding the antlers and the pen's thickness. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Three Sons: Divorce, Bryant Park Style (1964) 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 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.


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