8.0/10
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36 user 27 critic

Seven Beauties (1975)

Pasqualino Settebellezze (original title)
The defense of honor, a strong value in Neapolitan society, and his effects on the life of everyman Pasquale Frafuso.

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pasqualino Frafuso aka Settebellezze
...
Pedro the Anarchist Prisoner
Shirley Stoler ...
The Prison Camp Commandant
Elena Fiore ...
Concettina, a Sister
Piero Di Iorio ...
Francesco - Pasqualino's comrade
Enzo Vitale ...
Don Raffaele
Roberto Herlitzka ...
Socialist
Lucio Amelio ...
Lawyer
Ermelinda De Felice ...
Pasqualino's Mother
Bianca D'Origlia ...
The Psychiatrist
Francesca Marciano ...
Carolina (as Francesca Marciani)
Mario Conti ...
Totonno '18 Carati' - Concettina's pimp
Barbara Valmorin ...
The Prison Camp Commandant's Secretary
Emilio Salvatori
Aristide Caporale ...
Madman (as Aristide Caporali)
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

21 January 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Beauties  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ratio of film shot to film actually used in the final cut was 50 to 1. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: The ones who don't enjoy themselves, even when they laugh. Oh yeah. The ones who worship the corporate image, not knowing that they work for someone else. Oh yeah. The ones who should have been shot in the cradle... Pow! Oh yeah. The ones who say 'Follow me to success, but kill me if I fail... so to speak.' Oh yeah. The ones who say we Italians are the greatest he-men on earth. Oh yeah. The ones who are noble Romans, the ones who say 'That's for me,' the ones who say 'You know what I mean.' Oh ...
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Connections

Referenced in Sneak Previews: The Best and Worst Films of 1976 (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captivating parable about the evils of Nazism
17 September 2000 | by (Lexington, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

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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