Tyrannical but ailing tycoon Charles Richmond becomes very fond of his attractive Italian nurse, Maria. The nurse, in turn, falls in love with Charles' ne'er-do-well nephew Anthony, who plots ways to gain control of his uncle's fortune.



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Complete credited cast:
Maria Marcello
Anthony 'Tony' Richmond
Charles Richmond
Detective Inspector Lomer
Johnny Sekka ...
Laurence Hardy ...
Peter Madden ...
Yacht Captain
Danny Daniels ...
Noel Howlett ...
Assistant Solicitor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Wilmer ...
Dr. Murray (scenes deleted)


A ruthless tycoon, whom his nephew (Anthony "Tony" Richmond) hates as he had both deprived his father of half of the family business and had (after his father had committed suicide) married his mother. A nurse (Maria) from a poor Italian family, is initially hired to care for the tycoon. She initially dislikes him because he abuses his employees. Tony convinces Maria to persist in his employ, however, telling her that he plans to bequeath his entire (50 million pound) fortune to charity. He plans to help her marry him, then to help him change his will, and (perhaps) then to help her achieve her inheritance...all for a payoff of 1 million pounds. Written by Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


IT'S SO EASY TO SET FIRE TO "A WOMAN OF STRAW" (original ad - all caps)


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 August 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

La mujer de paja  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is based on the expression, 'man of straw', which describes a situation where one person serves as a front for another in activities which may or not be legal. See more »


Maria Marcello: He was telling me about your mother.
Anthony 'Tony' Richmond: How she liked his strength after my father's weakness? How she loved him, despite his wealth?
Maria Marcello: He was so sad when he talked about her dying.
Anthony 'Tony' Richmond: Did he tell you what he said the minute after she died?
Maria Marcello: No...
Anthony 'Tony' Richmond: He said, "You gave me everything, and took nothing. You were a very stupid woman." Let's not get sentimental, shall we?
See more »


Version of Gôka kyakusen kurûzu satsujin annai (2001) See more »


Symphonie Fantastique
Music by Hector Berlioz
Arranged by Muir Mathieson
See more »

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User Reviews

A good psychological thriller with great locations
27 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film, one of the earliest starring Sean Connery, has strong and alluring power of its own. The visual settings are magnificent, and Gina Lollobrigida was never more seductive or beautiful than in this motion picture. Connery shows more depth than in many of his later films--one wonders what direction his career might have taken if he had not fallen into the clutches of "Cubby" Broccoli and the whole 007 thing. Sir Ralph is, well, Sir Ralph--imperious, petulant, old school upper class damn-the-servants Brit...This film plays strongly to anyone interested in the psychological stress a crime induces in the various participants, and this is one of the many factors that separate it from the run of the mill police procedural. Finally, it has an evocative and excellent musical score--and no wonder, since Rimsky-Korsakov's Cappricio Espanol features prominently as a mood-setter. Altogether, a good rainy afternoon movie!

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