La vedova inconsolabile ringrazia quanti la consolarono (1973) Poster

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Superior Italian sex romp
lazarillo2 December 2009
I've somehow managed to become a kind of connoisseur of 70's Italian sex comedies lately, so trust me when I say this is definitely one of the better ones. It has a GREAT plot: a man is killed in a car accident while rushing home to have sex with his wife. Because he died in testate, his considerable inheritance is to be split among his wife and his eleven no-account brothers. However, the dead man's scheming mother-in-law finds a loophole. If the wife (her daughter) is pregnant, the inheritance is all hers. And since she has 300 days to give birth to the "heir" (do the math there), she can easily make use of a surrogate father (if she hurries) to produce this heir. But where will she ever find a willing surrogate? Well, since the wife is played by the voluptuous Edwige Fenech, THAT is certainly not going to be a problem. In fact, the brothers, many of whom are low-level mafiosi, have to recruit a bunch of goons to keep away the mob of male suitors who want to "console" this "inconsolable widow", but then they even have to worry these virile toughs might themselves prove TOO right for the job.

Fenech's character herself goes from a shy, demure woman manipulated by her grasping mother to a more than active participant in the scheme, justifying herself all the way in hilarious monologues with her dead husbands photograph (which keeps changing expressions). Fenech here shows why she was the reigning queen of 70's sex comedies. Even with the usual bad English dubbing, she delivers a very funny performance that would be worthwhile even if she didn't take her clothes off (but, of course, she DOES take her clothes off too). Fenech managed to work with pretty much all the 70's Italian sex comedy directors from the best (Sergio Martino, Lucio Fulci) to the relative hacks (Michele Massimo Tarantini). The director of this one, Mario Laurenti, with whom Fenech also made "Ubalda, All Naked and Warm", "Vice in the Family", and "Schoolteacher in a Boy's College" among others, was kind of in the middle of the pack, but he definitely does an adequate job here. But it would have been hard for any director to screw this up with such a great concept and such sexy AND genuinely talented leading lady.

I can even pay this the ultimate compliment for an Italian sex romp and say that it would have been entertaining comedy even WITHOUT the sex. (I know--the mind boggles). Recommended.
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5/10
What a title!
bensonmum230 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
What a title! Just imagine The Inconsolable Widow Thanks All Those Who Consoled Her (let's shorten that to The Inconsolable Widow for the rest of this) on a marquee. The movie is about a childless widow named Catarina Prevosti (Edwige Fenech). Because Catarina gave her husband no heirs, Italian law mandates that his fortune revert to his blood relatives – his two bumbling brothers. Catarina's mother, naturally, cooks up a plan for her and Catarina to keep the money. If Catarina should become pregnant in the next couple of weeks, no one will know the child isn't her husband's. The brothers figure out what's going on an do everything they can, including posting guards around Catarina's house, to keep any man away from Catarina.

I haven't seen very many 70s Italian comedies, but The Inconsolable Widow appears to be about average. Some of the comedy works while a lot of it falls flat. I found the whole set-up, complete with armed guards, quite humorous. Much of the humor is quite naturally centered on sex and would be considered very politically incorrect in our current environment. As I could have predicted, these are the parts that I found the funniest. One of my favorite scenes involves Catarina's mother giving a would be suitor a pep talk before he heads to the bedroom.

This is the first of Edwige Fenech's comedies I've seen. Based on what I got out of The Inconsolable Widow, I think I'll track down a few more.
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7/10
Mourning has broken
Chip_douglas16 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The opening sequence is copied almost frame by frame from the original "Italian Job", as Salvatore Prevosti loses his life in an automobile accident because he was thinking of his wife Catarina (Edwige Fenech). After this everybody wears black for the rest of the film, though the tight fitting low cut widows peaks Fenech is wearing would make even Morticia Addams blush. Unless Catarina and her scheming mother Franchesca can prove she is carrying an heir, Salvatore's greedy brothers will claim his inheritance. All of them know there is no chance of a pregnancy, meaning the winsome widow has less than two weeks to get knocked up. So her greedy mom starts proposing indecent to every man in sight (except the brothers in law). Tonio & Nico, the brothers in question, retaliate by getting rid of all the servants and surrounding the mansion by Sicilian Picciotti (who all dress like Michael Corleone's sheep herding pals) to guard the mansion. Soon every young man in town is climbing over the fence at night, only to be beaten up and thrown back.

Meanwhile Catarina remains quite reluctant to play the harlot and says so to the picture of her dead husband by her bedside. As usual in comedies of this kind, the photograph keeps changing expression. This joke is used so many times in 'La Vedova', that the picture becomes a virtual supporting character. At her husbands wake, Catarina spots olive oil mustachio Carlo Bruchelli (Carlo Giuffrè) and instinctively knows he's the best choice. However, Carlo plans to break into Salvatore's safe at night to get back evidence of his gambling debts. When he finds he cannot cross the grounds at night because of the rangers, the women strike another deal: sleep with Edwige and all debts are paid. Weakling Carlo reveals himself to be a eyebrow stroking baron who has doubts about the ways of the heart. You see, they are only halfway through the picture and have to stretch this meager story out till the end.

So after a promising start, the movie slows down considerably as the three leads dance around each others feelings inside the house while a battalion of guards keeps watch outside. The use of potent potables to get Carlo's juices flowing only gives him nightmares and results in probably the most pathetic slow motion caveman dream ever put on film. Meanwhile again, the stupider brother in law, Nico, is obviously in love with Catarina and plans on producing his own heir with her. This leads to more confusion and a final twist that you will no doubt have figured out long before the main characters do. The moral of the story is: in the dark all men are alike, be they rich or poor.

7 out of 10
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