|Index||5 reviews in total|
Only Alberto Sordi could portray so well an old fashioned man looking for a virtuous wife from his country. Only he could lead you from laughter to cry in no time. Among my favorite scenes, Alberto turned down by awful looking Italian women in a dancing hall. If you really want to enter the world of many Italian immigrants around the globe, then watch this funny, insightful movie.
The film is about an old fashioned Italian with moral values of the 1930/40's ,who has to find a wife in the modern, woman's liberated society of Australia of the 1960/70's !!!Little does he know... that also Italian sexual mores & morals have changed since his departure from Italy 30 years earlier to resemble the ones of Australia !! His wife hunting task is made even more arduous by his stringent moral requirements in his lonely hearts column newspaper announcement placed in his native Italy !! Number one, requirement... that she is a virgin ("illibata" from film title)....after a long letter correspondence with the prospective bride, he finds at the airport's arrival hall a stunningly beautiful woman(Claudia Cardinale)to meet him.....for whom he falls in love with immediately !!(Needless to say the meet for the first time at the airport !!). As his friend points out "there is something strange about such beautiful woman needing to leave Italy, and marry a poor Italian immigrant on the other side of the globe !!.....she's evidently running away from something !!" His intuition was spot on.She was an ex-prostitute escaping from her pimp !! The rest of film is a farce comedy, of he not knowing of her past !! She being told by Alberto Sordi that he will take her, to her prospective husband ..........so shy is he !! The film is a delightful light comedy of illusions,mistaken identities, and cultural clash......in the age when there still existed mass Italian emigration abroad or to Northern Italy !!
From the 40's to the 70's many films have been made in Italy about these expatriate Italians ("Pane e Chocolato","I Magliari","Rocco e suoi fratelli", just to name a few !!) describing their daily grind,with its joys(few) and sorrows(more) !! Many of these films were very good !! But nowadays Italy has become a "normal" rich, West European society and film makers nowadays have difficulty finding inspiring stories to tell, which explains also the poor quality of todays Italian films .....unless the the director & film script finds some inspiring story from Italy's often tragic and difficult past !!
two days ago Alberto Sordi, Albertone for romans, passed away. He was a giant of italian comedy. This movie is a comedy but also a touching review of italian emigrant life style in Australia, the other side of the world. There was a time when in Italy the misery forced people to leave the homeland and spread all around the world. this movie is for them, because it shows their epic efforts to cope with a new environment, often hostile and mercyless, trying to defend their italianity and their community. The hidden values of these italians are no more represented in Italy, at least in the modern zones of Italy. They live in the era when they left Italy. In this sense they are the mirror of our past, but also of our future, when inter-cultural societies will be the norm.
I saw this movie many times in my life : childhood , teenage years , adulthood and I laughed all the time and every time for a different reason , but I also penetrated through a deeper meaning , through a concealed message hidden inside the movie . That is because myself I experienced how is to be alone in a foreign country , how is to live an immigrant's life away from your native country . It is not only about Italians , is a tribute to all those desperadoes , easy prey ,those easy to fool people(immigrants)...who themselves they are fooling each other and they are bragging about social conditions that they will probably never achieve but they present them like their day to day normal way of living : good paid salaries , American car , paid off house , but the reality is different : their life is a nightmare ! They are tragicomic situations in the movie , I will enlist just a few : -Then the Italian grandmother wants to talk to their nephews (at the airport), the kids speak only English , that also is an common thing amongst immigrants (that happens to many immigrants not only Italians , but generally speaking to people who are ashamed of their roots) -Then the spouse by mail (Carmela) is taken care by Amedeo at the airport she jumps quickly in the Rolls-Royce she thinks is normal that every immigrant drives Ferrari,Lamborghini,Mercedes,BMW,Rolls-Royce......etc. -In the train when Carmela tries to reach Amedeo (who had a seizure) she takes a seat next to 3 compatriots who of course they speak Italian between each other , and they narrate about a mine where so many people from Bergamo died therefore it is was called the cemetery of bergamasci ,also she is not uttering a single word in Italian , that is another common thing between immigrants who don't want to mingle with fellow compatriots. As somebody said already immigrants are living in their past ... before the bad choice they made , they are uprooted with whatever happens in the motherland . You will laugh in this movie but you will also shed a tear (or more), anyway you will admire two great actors of the (in my opinion) world cinema : Alberto Sordi and Claudia Cardinale.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not an immigrant, never wanted to be one. Neither am I sure that I sympathize with the idea, although I've worked abroad for more than 6 years... However, you need to see this movie to understand what these people may go through... This is a genial movie, I've never seen it or even known of it until today, viewed on Cinemax. I've been a big fan of Alberto Sordi's movies since high school; during late '60s and '70s we could still see new Italian movies in our cinemas... I remember that just 2-3 years ago I tried to find Alberto's filmography on IMDb and I just got a blank... I'm really happy and thankful that this huge lack has been corrected... Alberto Sordi was an impressive actor. And the roles he plays are always so full of warmest human value, to the extreme. Also, Claudia Cardinale, his 'sidekick' in this particular movie, is much more than just a lovely physical appearance. For those millions of fans of Italian movies, Claudia is a well-deserved legend. Lovers of Italian (... European) '60-'80s cult movies, irrespective of where they are, will be delighted to view this one !!!
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