After the Allies liberate Naples in 1943, the life for the locals is not much easier, especially for women. Many sacrifice their dignity and morale to survive.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jimmy Wren
Alexandra King ...
Deborah Wyatt
Carlo Giuffrè ...
Eduardo Mazzullo
Yann Babilée ...
Jean-Louis
Jeanne Valérie ...
Principessa a Capri
Liliana Tari ...
Maria Concetta
Peppe Barra ...
Sarto (as Giuseppe Barra)
Cristina Donadio ...
Amica di Anna
Rosaria della Femmina ...
Amante di Jimmy (as Maria Rosaria Della Femmina)
...
Gen Guillaume
...
Principessa Consuelo Caracciolo
...
Gen. Mark Clark
Gianni Abbate
Anna Maria Ackermann
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Storyline

After the Allies liberate Naples in 1943, the life for the locals is not much easier, especially for women. Many sacrifice their dignity and morale to survive.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

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Release Date:

25 November 1981 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Skin  »

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Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 76985 delivered on 23-9-1981. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Horror Film (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Skillful rendition of the book
18 November 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie is based on the true memoirs of the main character (Curzio Malaparte) during his time when he acted as diplomatic liaison between the Allied forces and the Italian in the newly occupied Italy. The book is a collection of short stories depicting the collapse of the Italian society under Allied occupation. There is no story line between those short stories. The movie puts them in chronological order, but the reigning chaos and lack of moral message (the message is exactly the lack of morality) can confuse the spectator.

This is a very original war movie, in that the main theme is the not the war front. The Allied are not viewed from their own perspective, which is one of true liberators. Instead, the movie shows the Italian people courting the Allies as liberators in order to escape from starvation. The Allies themselves are caught in a trap where they know the Italian hospitality isn't sincere, but are unable to understand why. They don't realize that before them, the Germans were courted as liberators too, and that in this context of food shortage and general poverty, the only way the Italians have to secure their survival is to play that game.

Malaparte (played by Marcello Mastroiani) acts then as a translator, helping the Americans as a guide would help a tourist, by explaining in each situation why people are acting in this seemingly dishonorable way.

La Pelle (The Skin) would make more sense if compared to Malaparte's twin book on the occupied Europe (Kaputt, or Broken to Pieces). In the latter, he portrays the Nazi way of oppressing through violence. In La Pelle, he shows how the Americans achieve a similar result through economic means, while refusing any responsibility. In Kaputt, Jewish women are made prostitutes by the German Army to escape death by the bullet; in La Pelle, Italian women become prostitutes for the American Army to escape death by starvation.


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