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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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Several episodes depicting Italian's life in short humoristic stories.

Directors: Mario Monicelli, Dino Risi, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Vittorio Gassman, Ornella Muti, Alberto Sordi


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 »


Referenced in Giornata nera (2006) See more »


Written by Gaetano Lama (as Lama), Libero Bovio (as Bovio)
See more »

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User Reviews

Make no mistake, this is the better version
20 February 2010 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

I don't necessarily want to slam the Hollywood re-make of this, which was a decent film in its own right that finally gave Al Pacino a long-deserved Academy Award, but frankly this is the better film. Vittorio Gassman doesn't necessarily give a better performance than Pacino as the blind, disabled,and sex-obsessed military man, but his is a somewhat more low-key one that involves a little less scenery chewing. Moreover, Gassman's character comes off as more tragic and more realistic since this version really doesn't have misguided "redemptive" courtroom scene that the re-make did.

While largely unknown, the young Italian actor Alessandro Momo is far, far better than the deservedly washed-up Chris O'Donnell, who is the real weak link in the American film. Then there's Agostina Belli. Both Gabrielle Anwar in the re-make and Belli in this are achingly beautiful girls, but whereas Anwar has little more than a cameo in the Hollywood film, Belli has a much meatier role (not to mention some nice nude scenes). Basically where the re-make relies on Pacino's considerable acting talents and dialogue to "tell" about the character's haunting obsession with the "smell" of a female sex that is forever lost to him, this movie does a lot better job because it is not afraid to actually "show" it.

Finally, there is director Dino Risi, who American director Martin Ritt is frankly not fit to pull focus for. Risi is one of those unfortunate Italian directors (like Salvatore Samperi, Pasquale Festa, Massimo Dallamano, and Alberto Lattuada) who was not QUITE in the class of Fellini, Pasolini, or the Antonioni, and has therefore been undeservedly condemned to obscurity. Risi made at least two other very good films I've seen, both also with Gassman--the 60's film "Il Sorpasso" and the later genre film "Anima Perse"--but this is generally considered his masterpiece.

Even when they have someone as talented as Pacino on board, American re-makes sometimes equal but rarely improve on an original film like this because its originality is inevitably lost in the rush to "Americanize" it. I'd actually recommend EITHER of these movies to anybody, but make no mistake, this is the better one.

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