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Love and Anarchy (1973)
"Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero 'stamattina alle 10 in via dei Fiori nella nota casa di tolleranza...'" (original title)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 962 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 17 critic

When a friend is murdered by the Facists, a melancholy farmer takes up residence in a Roman brothel as he and an anarchist prostitute plot to assassinate Mussolini.

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Title: Love and Anarchy (1973)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Antonio Soffiantini 'Tunin'
...
Eros Pagni ...
Giacinto Spatoletti
Pina Cei ...
Madame Aïda
Elena Fiore ...
Donna Carmela
Giuliana Calandra
Isa Bellini
Isa Danieli ...
Prostitute
Enrica Bonaccorti ...
Prostitute
...
Prostitute
Anita Branzanti ...
Prostitute
Maria Sciacca ...
Prostitute
Anna Melato ...
Prostitute
Gea Linchi ...
Prostitute
Anna Stivala ...
Prostitute
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Storyline

Italy in the 30s. Tonino, a sad faced, freckled peasant, comes to Rome to kill Mussolini. He has anarchist connections, and his contact in Rome is Salome, a lively flapper and popular professional at the bordello where she lives. She introduces him as her cousin, giving him access to the brothel, and she helps him prepare for the assassination, scheduled a few days after his arrival. Within a day, he has fallen in love with Tripolina, one of the younger prostitutes. Tonino does the madam a favor, and, in exchange, Tripolina gets two days off to spend with him. How will this love affair, Salome's political will, and the assassination plans play out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1973 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Film d'amore e d'anarchia  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Salome: In my opinion, I can't stand these people that are so intelligent yet create such a shitty world.
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Connections

References The Sheik (1921) See more »

Soundtracks

Canzone arrabbiata
Written by Nino Rota and Lina Wertmüller
Performed by Anna Melato
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User Reviews

 
Multiple Viewings Recommended
1 April 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Rather than contend for film with the longest title, "Film of Love and Anarchy (or At Ten o'clock This Morning in Via dei Fiori in the Infamous House of Prostitution)" is better known by the more manageable "Love and Anarchy". This 1973 Lina Wertmüller thriller is a hard first watch because there is no suspense to grab the viewer and hook them into the story. I was only able to handle about 30 minutes at a time, not because it was unpleasant but because I was too uninvolved in the story to ignore distractions and interruptions. But while it withholds most of its appeal from the initial viewing, it yields something new each time it is viewed.

"Love and Anarchy" is more an expressionistic opera than a realistic thriller. Imagine "Cabaret" starring Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" and you will have a good idea of its style.

It's main theme sneaks up and surprises you. U.S. viewers, dimly aware of the great depression and World War Two, suffer a complete cultural disconnect regarding the continuing legacy of fascism in Italy and Germany. Meaning that anti-fascist political messages are embedded in almost all post-war Italian cinema. But Wertmüller's "Love and Anarchy" has the broader theme of anti-extremism, taking shots at those who make major sacrifices out of perverted idealism and a lack historical perspective.

The film begins with its main character Tonino (Giancarlo Giannini) at a turning point in his life, the execution of an older relative for political subversion. After viewing the body on display in what would otherwise by an idyllic rural setting, Torino is inspired to take over what he perceives as his relative's mission, the assassination of Benito Mussolini.

Tonino goes to Rome and links up with his anarchist contact, a highly sought after call girl named Salomè (another Wertmuller regular Mariangela Melato), her brothel is popular with the Fascists and Mussolini's head of security, an arrogant blow-hard named Spatoletti (Eros Pagni), is especially fond of Salomè.

Tonino and young call girl Tripolina (Lina Polito) soon fall in love which serves to greatly complicate his mission.

I watched the widescreen version of the film on the Fox Lorber DVD, and contrary to several other comments I found no problems with the film transfer. My guess is that these refer to the variation in color tone as the film cuts between characters, but this is a deliberate effect by Wertmüller's. She lights each face differently to convey the character's motivation. The uncomplicated Torino is given natural lighting, the political Salomè is tinted red, and the disillusioned Tripolina is in shadow. These combine with bold colors, a surreal score, and acute camera angles that exaggerate elements and play with scale in many of the frames. The everyday scenes in the brothel are especially good, combining the audacious with the darkly comic. The best is a carnival-like montage to music showcasing the start of a busy day of business for the prostitutes and their eager customers.

In almost any other film Pagni would steal the whole thing with his overplayed performance but Melato matches him line for line. This contrasts nicely with the more subtle and nuanced performances of Giannini and Polito. Polito is very effective when Wertmüller makes use of her eyes in several close-ups.

There is much overwrought melodrama as Wertmüller uses a farcical tone to illustrate that the Fascists and their opposition are linked by a common hypocrisy and a shared perversion of idealism. Ironically the film is at its best during its quiet scenes such as Tornio and Tripolina's stroll through the plazas of the city.

This is an important film with an original message, fine performances from the entire ensemble, and really slick film-making techniques.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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