An acid portrait of Italian youth at the time, I DELFINI follows a dreary season of discontent and viciousness in the lives of a thoroughly unpleasant group of mostly rich youngsters in a small Adriatic coast city.
Anna Maria Ferrero
The place is Trieste and the time is 1927. Emilio Brentani leads a peaceful and uneventful life with his older sister Amalia. At least until the day he meets Angiolina Zarri, a beautiful ... See full summary »
In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic, urbane; they are also Jewish. Their adult children, Micol and Alberto, gather... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
The original Italian is La Viaccia (the name of the family farm which motivates the plot). The death of a wealthy patriarch in 1885 sets off an interfamily power struggle. Son Ferdinando ... See full summary »
Traces events in the life of Carlo, from his christening in 1906, where his grandfather reminds his father that Carlo means "free man," to his 80th birthday party. The film principally ... See full summary »
Impeccably styled and shot, Francesco Maselli's hyper-elegant 1920s drama rivals Bertolucci's 'The Conformist' and Godard's 'Contempt' as the best-ever film of an Alberto Moravia novel. All the acting is first-rate: Paulette Goddard as a faded grande dame, Claudia Cardinale and Tomas Milian as her wayward offspring, Shelley Winters as her scheming 'best friend' and Rod Steiger as the coarse and ruthless businessman who holds them all in his power. The evocation of the period is almost eerie in its perfection. Did Marcel Escoffier and Luigi Scaccianoce really DESIGN those luscious costumes and sets, or did they wander into a haunted house where ghosts live that way?
Amazingly enough - with all the talent on show - the undisputed star of this film has to be Paulette Goddard. A legendary Hollywood beauty, she never had much reputation as an actress. She was more famous for her string of husbands - Charlie Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, Erich Maria Remarque - and her immortal maxim "Never sleep with a man unless he gives you diamonds!" (Guess what? She had a whole suitcase full.) Seeing her as a washed-up femme fatale in this film, you realise that she COULD act after all - or was it just the most brilliant bit of typecasting in screen history?
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