In Sicily, the mine worker Carmelo "Mimí" Mardocheo votes in the Communist Party candidate instead of in the Mafia's one believing that the suffrage is secret. After the elections, he loses... See full summary »
A group of immigrants from the south of Italy live collectively in the Milano's suburbia in the 1974. Not only they share the house, but also hopes and troubles that in those years where ... See full summary »
In pre-World War II Sicily, just as the fascists come to power, two men fall in love with the same woman. The changes in their country's politics ultimately take all three on a journey across the ocean to New York.
Candice Bergen and Giancarlo Giannini star as two people from very different worlds who fall in love in A Night Full of Rain. When romantic Italian journalist Paolo (Giannini) rescues ... See full summary »
Maria and Jeffrey are a married couple in their seventies. Their marriage is in crisis. However, Maria tries to get their two sons and one daughter, Francesco, Marco and Miriam, their ... See full summary »
F. Murray Abraham,
While walking in a garden of statues of women, Ester and her friend Adele see two women kissing. Ester then dreams of kissing Adele and later imagines making love to her while she is in the... See full summary »
Luisa De Santis
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 »
The neorealistic story follows the uneventful lives of Francesco, Sergio and Antonio, three young men, who live in a small, poverty-stricken village. Since all three are unemployed they ... See full summary »
Stefano Satta Flores,
Pasqualino, an Italian everyman, deserts the army during World War II. Germans capture him and send him to a prison camp, where he does just about anything to survive. In lengthy flashbacks, we see him and his family of seven unattractive sisters (the seven beauties), his accidental murder of one sister's lover, his confession and imprisonment, his calculated switch to an asylum, his rape of a patient, and his volunteering to be a soldier to escape confinement. To the chagrin of his obese German captor, his weak and cowardly character enables him to survive the war and return to Naples where he has a plan to survive the next world catastrophe. Written by
Lina Wertmuller had a brief moment in the spotlight back in the mid-seventies, mostly due to the impact of three of her films: "Love and Anarchy," "Swept Away," and "Seven Beauties." Although her career took a nose-dive shortly thereafter, "Seven Beauties" still stands as her best film, and also one of the best films of its era.
Giancarlo Giannini gives a compelling and hilarious performance as Pasqualino Settebellezze, an Italian hood who is sent to prison after killing his sister's lover. He fakes insanity, gets sent to an institution, escapes by joining the military, deserts, gets caught, and is put in a concentration camp. There, he seduces his grotesque female camp commander in order to survive. Giannini makes his character wholly believable, and his presence on-screen (in nearly every scene) keeps the story going from one plot twist to the next. His character has a bumbling, comic presence to him, but also a certain amount of craft and sophistication.
Wertmuller creates a story that works both as slapstick and anti-war drama. Her direction is tight and controlled, and she doesn't flinch away from depicting the brutalities of Nazism. Parts of the film may seem like forerunners of the "gross-out" gags that have populated cinema in recent years, but these moments are actually used to show how the Nazis degraded ordinary innocents and demoralized the world around them. The most interesting aspect of the story is the way Wertmuller compares Hitler's tactics to those of the underground mafia; the Nazis, in the end, come off as hypocritical for persecuting Pasqualino for his crimes. Pasqualino may be a slovenly thug, but placed next to even the lowest-ranking of Hitler's cronies, he's a knight in shining armor.
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