The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (1966) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
6 Reviews
Sort by:
A pleasure to watch and a great lesson about Italy
minavagante2 April 2002
First of all, thumbs up to the restoration of this movie, which happened in 1997/98. Secondly, though, shame on the media who didn't flag this operation as it usually does when a masterpiece movie is finally restored. And this is a masterpiece.

Then, there is no real "Rezega", the small town in which this movie is set. This movie was shot in Treviso, the place were I was born and lived for 20 years, and my father can recall the shooting taking place in his youth. This because, like in every other small town in the world, nothing ever happens in Rezega/Treviso, and whatever may happen can't be made public, but should be spread by word of mouth.

All sort of things happen: marriage, betrayal, births and deaths, the fabric of every town's life. But decency is more important, and so "si fa ma non si dice" (everybody does it, nobody tells about it) is the law. Great performances from Gastone Moschin, Virna Lisi and Alberto Lionello, very good scriptwriting and magnificent direction by a true master like Pietro Germi make this a pleasure to watch, whether you want to understand provincial Italy or not. Oh, and if you do want to, this movie contains all you need to know about the dynamics that regulate the life of 80% of Italy's population, all those who live in towns of that size: I went to a movie screening a few years ago, and my acquaintances in the cinema were all related by stories similar to those in the movie (mind you, they are just in their 20s!).

Go see it, ask for it, let the world know about this great little movie!
29 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
(All'italiana) Comedy Masterpiece
tuco7314 December 2007
The Italian Comedy of the Sixties has been internationally recognised as one of the most innovative and original cinema genres produced in that decade. This forgotten movie stands as one of the best examples of such genre. Three stories from the same bunch of middle aged guys from the North of Italy (the nice location is Treviso) are portrayed in this very enjoyable comedy. It is an almost Fellinesque movie, in the sense that it is grotesque, funny and clever at the same time. It mainly is a satire on the human relationships and the hypocrisy of people. Obviously all of this is depicted in a totally hilarious "Italian way". The actresses are simply irresistible (Virna Lisi looks awesome!), the actors very convincing, the story simply too good compared to nowadays scripts, while music, photography and direction are almost perfect. It won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival together with "Un homme une famme". To be rediscovered. a convinced 10/10.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Power of Italian laughter challenge :This film is one of the fine examples of Italian comedy.
FilmCriticLalitRao10 July 2007
According to the veteran Italian film director Ettore Scola,Italian people have the intrinsic knack of ridiculing themselves long before someone else can dare to point a figure at them.For them there is hardly any human sentiment which cannot be mocked.By doing so they have remained the champions of auto derision in this world.This is one fundamental quality which distinguishes them from the other nationalities of Europe.As far as a discussion on this film goes,its English title "The birds,The bees and The Italians" does perfect justice to the spirit of the film. The entire film is a laugh riot and the best thing about the screenplay is that although the depicted situations might appear common place but they never leave any room for any kind of guess work or speculation.So the end result is an intelligent film which entertains until the maximum possible extent of human enjoyment. Even the black and white photography is advantageous as it alludes to a time when there was too little advancement of technology. Recommended for those people who would like to have a nice laugh but would not dare to copy under any circumstances the actions portrayed in the film.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A real gem
Harry Carasso31 July 2009
I simply can't understand how a moviegoer like me missed this gem when it was first shown here - and won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Festival. Especially being already convinced that Pietro Germi was one of the most talented directors of the Italian after war films. He made a screen adaptation of one of the greatest literary hits of the sixties, Carlo Emilio Gadda's QUER PASTICCIACCIO BRUTTO DI VIA MERULANA, a perfect combination of Italian language and Roman dialect. Concerning SIGNORE E SIGNORI, the cast is not all-stars, but extremely equal in its aspects, none is tops but none is dull either. Special rewards for the well known Franco Fabrizi, for exquisite Beba Loncar and the almost introducing Virna Lisi, who became famous for a long time. The atmosphere of this little Italian town was splendidly illustrated. I used to stay in Treviso when traveling to Venice, the City of the Doges being too expensive for me and Treviso, also nicely cut by its canaletti, was only at a half hour by train from the famous but hardly available Lagoon City. A huge Bravo! also for the remasterization, absolutely perfect. Warmly recommended to everybody who wants to have a big laugh and in the same time measure how mean some people were just half a century ago. Harry Carasso, Paris, France
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
razor-sharp satire
altyn14 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is a merciless exposure of ways of thinking and behaviors that plagued (and maybe plague still) provincial towns. It starts lightly as a comedy centered on the old "cuckhold" theme, but it makes clear from the first minutes that the "Ladies and Gentlemen" of the original title are a bunch of leering gossipers, held together only by affluence, sexual intrigues and pretensions. Then we are made to witness a dream of love and liberation shattered to pieces by social conventions and a lot of pressure (and this is where a character that started comically grows up to tragic size). The last novella is material for courtroom drama - but there are no heroes here and everybody is just as corrupt as everybody else, the victim excepted, so much that we may feel sick on hearing that "justice has triumphed". The director subtly extracts from us laughter, but a laughter that risks becoming a desperate howl.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Frenetic but boring
rooak21 December 2016
It might take an Italian background to appreciate this film. As a non-Italian viewer I found the humour (high farce) rather dull.

The film had almost no characterization, a rather muddy plot line and absolutely no emotional interest. I tuned out constantly, and was glad for distractions.

The third line of the anthology, about the sexual interest of a group of men in a young girl was particularly uncomfortable, with its pedophile themes, which Germi unpleasantly treated as though only humorous, not at all troubling.

The overall perspective was purely male — the women in the film were simply either objects of desire or impediments to desire's fulfillment.

I wouldn't bother watching this film again.
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews