5.5/10
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7 user 21 critic

The Key (1983)

La chiave (original title)
A husband and wife lock their diaries in a drawer and also know that they read each other's entries, a device which takes them from one sexual encounter to another.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Teresa Rolfe
Franco Branciaroli ...
Laszlo Apony
...
Lisa Rolfe
Maria Grazia Bon ...
Giulietta
Gino Cavalieri ...
Don Rusetto
Piero Bortoluzzi ...
Memo Longobardi
Irma Veithen ...
L'infirmière
Milly Corinaldi ...
Giustina
Giovanni Michelagnoli ...
Dr. Fano
Armando Marra
Eolo Capritti
Maria Pia Colonnello
Edgardo Fugagnoli
Luciano Gasper
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Storyline

A husband and wife lock their diaries in a drawer and also know that they read each other's entries, a device which takes them from one sexual encounter to another.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

19 October 1983 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Chave do Ciúme  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tinto Brass only ever wanted actress Stefania Sandrelli for the role of Teresa Rolfe and waited until she was at the right age for the part. See more »

Goofs

In the scene Laszlo shows Nino how to use an instant camera. That was not possible in the period the story takes place (Mussolini's fascist Italy). They are using a Polaroid Land Camera model 95 and its production was from 1948 to 1953. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Fano: Don't forget that coitus, as any medical book will tell you, is risky in your condition.
Nino Rolfe: The risk of leaving while coming, eh?
See more »

Connections

Version of Odd Obsession (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

What do you expect from the guy who brought us "Caligula" and "Salon Kitty?"
11 February 2002 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

A main female character sums up this pile of narrative nonsense at the conclusion of the film saying something like, "I was faithful by being unfaithful." Meaning she was compliant in her husband's wishes for her to link up with their son-in-law so her horny husband could become sexually excited by watching her, thus sparking their marriage alive again. Set against Mussolini's rise to power in 1940s Italy, I suppose auteur Tinto Brass is trying to make some haughty comment on how the Italian populace of the time, repressed by Catholic guilt, succumbed to Il Duce's desire for them to fall faithfully in line with Italian pride and become unfaithful from the moral direction of the Church. Who knows really, because Brass is more concerned with Stefania Sandrelli's derriere than he is about political/spiritual ambivalence.

Alas, Mr. Brass' focus on lead actress Sandrelli's bottom is the only theme you're bound to come away with after viewing an hour and 50 minutes of this soft-core cornfest. British thesp Frank Finlay takes a leap at a starring role by heading south to Italy and being forced to look every bit the dirty old man under the meticulous kink direction by Brass. As the premature, if you will, hubby in this standard menage a trois, he can only last a matter of seconds in the sack with his much younger wife, played by the suitably stunning Sandrelli. It is only when he becomes jealous over his wife's attentions to his son-in-law, played with robot-amateur woodenness by Franco Branciaroli, that Finlay becomes excited enough to maintain another kind of woodenness. By drugging his wife into a fitful slumber and picture-posing her in various open positions for photo-ops, Frank cements our disgusted feeling that we are somehow watching the actual sad home life of the Italian Pinto, Tinto.

While nowhere near as decadent as "Caligula," "La Chiave" has that movie's ability to make you want to take a cleansing shower afterwards to wash its depressing, sleazy drivel off your conscience. Once we learn the designs of Finlay's ho-hum plan, in the first 20 minutes, all we're left with is countless meandering soft-focus shots of Sandrelli and Branciaroli strolling around Venice, fornicating in their hideaway lair, and Finlay foppishly sniffing after her like a pheremone-obsessed hounddog.

The fast-forward button won't help you on this one. You'll be woefully buzzing through a flick that has no worthwhile stopping point. My rating: 0 out of ****.


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