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Scent of a Woman (1974)

Profumo di donna (original title)
An army cadet accompanies an irascible, blind captain on a week-long trip from Turin to Naples. The captain, Fausto, who wants no pity, brooks no disagreement, and charges into every ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Il capitano Fausto Consolo
Alessandro Momo ...
Giovanni Bertazzi, aka Ciccio
Franco Ricci ...
Tenente Giacomino
Elena Veronese ...
Lorenzo Piani
Stefania Spugnini ...
Torindo Bernardi ...
Marisa Volonnino ...
Carla Mancini ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sergio Di Pinto ...


An army cadet accompanies an irascible, blind captain on a week-long trip from Turin to Naples. The captain, Fausto, who wants no pity, brooks no disagreement, and charges into every situation, nicknames the youth Ciccio ("Babyfat"), and spends the next few days ordering him about and generally behaving badly in public. In Rome, Fausto summons a priest to ask for his blessing; in Naples, where Fausto joins a blind lieutenant for drinking and revelry, the two soldiers talk quietly and seriously about "going through with it." Also in Naples is Sara, in love with Fausto, but treated cruelly by him. What do the blind soldiers plan? Can Sara soften Fausto's hardened heart? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 December 1974 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Scent of a Woman  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alessandro Momo (Giovanni Bertazzi, aka Ciccio) died on 20 November 1974 (shortly after the shooting of the movie was completed) in Rome, Italy (motorcycle accident) not far from the filming locations. See more »


Il capitano Fausto Consolo: You know what I am?
Giovanni Bertazzi, aka Ciccio: No.
Il capitano Fausto Consolo: The eleven of spades.
Giovanni Bertazzi, aka Ciccio: It doesn't exist.
Il capitano Fausto Consolo: That's the point. A card that's not in the pack. Good for no game.
See more »


Remade as Amir El Zalam (2002) See more »


Le gentil et le méchant
Lyrics by Maurice Vidalin (as Vidalin)
Music by Michel Fugain
Performed by Michel Fugain
See more »

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User Reviews

A milestone in Vittorio Gassman's career
12 October 2005 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Dino Risi is one of the most important directors in Italian cinema, from the Fifties to the Seventies. Generally he's recognized as one of the fathers of Italian comedy ("commedia all'italiana") -the expression doesn't mean that the movies make you laugh all the time, it means that stories are a mix of happiness and bitterness, as life is. And not always there's a happy ending.

Dino Risi worked with the "who's who" of Italian cinema, but he became famous also for casting frequently actors like Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi, Nino Manfredi and Alberto Sordi -they were ideal for characterizing Italian defects and virtues, above all defects...! "Profumo di donna" is taken from a book by Giovanni Arpino. In this 1974 movie Vittorio Gassman is a blind ex military officer who makes a trip from Genova to Naples. A young boy accompanies him. Fausto -Gassman's character- has to deal with the tragedy of being blind, he wants to commit suicide...

Fausto is a man who lost everything; he can feel the presence of a woman (which explains the title "Profumo di donna", in English "Scent of a woman") but doesn't want to be loved for pity.

It's difficult to describe a film which has a lot of themes -friendship, aging, the drama of being different from the others. But everything is treated in a delicate and moving way, although it's not a film for making you cry.

Vittorio Gassman performance is simply superb -he won a prize in Cannes in 1975. The picture got that same year an Academy Award nomination.

In 1992 Al Pacino starred in an American remake -"Scent of a woman", as I said the title is the exact translation from the Italian one. The actor won an Oscar but the film is not as good as the original. Apart from the extraordinary Pacino performance, everything is treated in a typical Hollywood way, with a more schematic story (for example the fact that the blind officer later helps his young companion is absent in the original film).

I suggest the people who only saw the Al Pacino version to see the Vittorio Gassman film -it's softer and more complex at the same time.

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