IMDb > Divorce Italian Style (1961)
Divorzio all'italiana
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Divorce Italian Style (1961) More at IMDbPro »Divorzio all'italiana (original title)

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Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ennio De Concini (story) &
Pietro Germi (story) ...
View company contact information for Divorce Italian Style on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 September 1962 (USA) See more »
The cutest comedy import in a long time!!! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 11 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
When America First Met Marcello See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Marcello Mastroianni ... Ferdinando Cefalù
Daniela Rocca ... Rosalia Cefalù

Stefania Sandrelli ... 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
Edy Nogara
Renato Pinciroli
Daniela Igliozzi
Laura Tomiselli ... Aunt Fifidda (as Laura Valerio Tomiselli)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Saro Arcidiacono ... Dr. Talamone
Renzo Marignano ... Politician
Bruno Bertocci ... Uomo in piazza (uncredited)

Directed by
Pietro Germi 
Writing credits
Ennio De Concini (story) &
Pietro Germi (story) &
Alfredo Giannetti (story)

Ennio De Concini (screenplay) &
Pietro Germi (screenplay) &
Alfredo Giannetti (screenplay)

Agenore Incrocci  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Franco Cristaldi .... producer
Original Music by
Carlo Rustichelli 
Cinematography by
Leonida Barboni 
Carlo Di Palma 
Film Editing by
Roberto Cinquini 
Production Design by
Carlo Egidi 
Set Decoration by
Sergio Canevari 
Costume Design by
Dina Di Bari 
Makeup Department
Raffaele Cristini .... assistant makeup artist
Anna Fabrizzi .... hair stylist
Franco Freda .... makeup artist
Production Management
Carlo Bartolini .... production supervisor
Guglielmo Colonna .... production manager
Alessandro Gori .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Enzo Battaglia .... second assistant director
Renzo Marignano .... assistant director
Art Department
Giovanni Checchi .... property master
Sound Department
Antonio Bramonti .... boom operator
Fiorenzo Magli .... sound engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Gianni Antinori .... assistant camera (as Giovanni Antinori)
Divo Cavicchioli .... still photographer
Giovanni Ciarlo .... assistant camera
Gastone Di Giovanni .... camera operator
Alfredo Palmieri .... assistant camera
Aiace Parolin .... camera operator (as Ajace Parolin)
Arturo Zavattini .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elena Micheli Scardella .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Sergio Montanari .... assistant editor
Mario Morra .... assistant editor
Music Department
Deni .... composer: song "Canto d'Amore"
Luigi Urbini .... conductor (as Pierluigi Urbini)
Other crew
Rodolfo Frattaioli .... production secretary
Mirta Guarnaschelli .... continuity (as Myrta Corbucci)
Lamberto Pippia .... production secretary
Piero Speziali .... administrator
Ignazio Balsamo .... voice dubbing: Ignazio Balsamo (uncredited)
Augusto Marcacci .... voice dubbing: Leopoldo Trieste (uncredited)
Rita Savagnone .... voice dubbing: Daniela Rocca (uncredited)
Rita Savagnone .... voice dubbing: Stefania Sandrelli (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Divorzio all'italiana" - Italy (original title)
See more »
105 min | UK:104 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Co. System)
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Italy:VM16 | Netherlands:6 (2010) (DVD) | Sweden:15 | UK:A | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (certificate number not listed) | West Germany:18

Did You Know?

The young girl whom Ferdinando checks out on the train at the beginning is Stefania Sandrelli, who also plays the character Angela in the film.See more »
Continuity: When Ferdinando gets in bed with Rosalia after their fight, Rosalia's head facings change significantly between shots.See more »
Movie Connections:
Una furtiva lacrimaSee more »


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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
When America First Met Marcello, 8 December 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

In my lifetime I have seen about ten to twenty films with Marcello Mastroianni in them, including two made before he made "Divorce Italian Style", but for me the film that imprinted himself to American film audiences was this one. His Baron Ferdinando Cefalo is one of the cleverest homicidal figures in movies, and yet one of the most bumbling. One can say he succeeds despite himself.

Set in Sicily, then as now the poorest area of Italy and one of the most backward, the film shows how the Baron is bored by his present wife Rosalia (Daniela Rocca), a good woman but somewhat overwhelming in her unwanted affection. Rosalia is not unattractive (in a lightly heavy manner), but she is certainly not currently able to get more than a mild interest in her husband in whatever she is doing. The Baron is quite interested in his young female cousin Angela (Stefania Andrelli), a vibrant and young woman who is about to go to convent school. Baron Ferdinando would love to marry Angela, but how to get rid of Rosalia? Divorce (as Americans know it) is not liked in Catholic countries, particularly in the most backward sections of them. But the laws of the day in Italy (say about 1955 or so) have a crazy version of the so-called "unwritten law" regarding shooting adulterers...except the Italian version allows for the shooting of the guilty spouse by his or her wronged spouse, and the granting of a relatively light sentence (believe it or not three years!).

The problem is that the killer must catch the adulterous pair in their act of guilty passion when they are doing it. And there must be sufficient emotional pressure on the perpetrator to justify a case of sudden homicidal impact. Baron Ferdinando has to orchestrate out of artificial methods the exact situation to enable him to legally kill Rosalia. He presses ahead, and his society is shown for all it's secrets and backwardness.

First, he studies up on the law and recent cases, even checking out the grand Italian lawyer with his flowery oratory style who he will use (later on we hear the lawyer's possible future speech describing some of the actions of the Baron as he pursues his dream). Then he has to find a good patsy - who is the other man? Here he finds this fellow is gay, that one is happily married, that one (in the choir) has...well a physical problem. Finally he selects an old friend of Rosalia, a painter from Messena named Carmelo Patane (Leopoldo Trieste). The Baron gives Carmelo a restoration job in his villa (I'm kind when I call his ramshackle home that), and then makes sure that Rosalia and Carmelo are left by themselves a lot.

In his way he tries to be modern in this 18th Century atmosphere. He tape records the private conversations of Rosalia and Carmelo to see if they have finally broken down to commit their adultery. This is far more tedious than he hoped, as Rosalia tries to maintain her loyalty to his husband, and Carmelo keeps a major secret from Rosalia. As they break down there is also the problems of the love-sick maid who Carmelo is also attracted to. And as each problem arises we watch the Baron try to figure out how to overcome them.

When the crisis arises finally we see the locals at their worst, with the men laughing at the Baron's being cuckolded, but everyone freezing out him and his family because his reaction is to take to his bed. But he is only waiting for the right moment to avenge his honor. When will it occur, or will it ever occur?

Italian cinema had been part of the international film language since 1945 with Neo-realism, and masters like Rossalini, De Sica, and (later) Fellini. Some of the films of the 1950s, like the original "Big Deal On Madonna Street", included Mastroianni in the casts, but others (Vittorio Gassman, Toto) were the stars or shared the fun. This film put him on the map for our audiences, with his proper, well dressed, soft-spoken minor aristocrat, with his "tic" (he clicks his mouth when something unexpected or unpleasant occurs around him). With slicked down hair and droopy, trimmed mustache, he looks like a man whose been losing at gambling tables all night at the rate of one lira an hour - no smile, but no real feeling of great loss. It was a memorable dead pan performance. He never quite repeated it (most of his characters were far more lively in their antics), but it stamped itself on American audiences. Soon his series of films with Sophia Loren cemented him into the position of Italy's leading romantic male film figure and great farceur. He never failed to live up to those two views in all of the films he appeared in until his death in 1996.

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