La svergognata (1974) Poster

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Recommended for fans of Leanora Fani
lazarillo20 February 2010
Perhaps I've become a little infatuated with 70's Italian actress Leanora Fani since I've now seen five of her films in Italian (with no subtitles), which is my third language (and a very distant third).

The stereotypical Italian actresses from the 60's golden age were ones like Sophia Loren or Claudia Cardinale, who were typically very voluptuous and earthy (as were the neo-realist actresses before them), and even when they were young, tended to have a very mature look about them. There were still plenty of Italian actresses like this around in the 1970's (i.e.Laura Antonelli, Erica Blanc, Rosalba Neri, Mariangela Giordano), but there was also another emerging type--more slender and nubile actresses, who weren't necessarily a lot younger, but certainly looked younger and were often typecast accordingly as virgins, teenagers, or counter-cultural "hippie" chicks. The most internationally famous actress in this category is probably Ornella Muti, but others included Eleanora Giorgi, Ely Galeani, Jenny Tamburi, Gloria Guida, and, of course, Leanora Fani. Fani was not an unattainable beauty like Ornelli Muti or as voluptuous as Gloria Guida or Jenny Tamburi, but because of this she was probably the most believable actress in these kind of roles. Unfortunately, she is mostly known today for some of her more sleazy movies like "Giallo in Venice" or "Naked Massacre", while her more serious movies never really made it out of Italy.

In this movie a writer (Philip Leroy)comes to stay at an island resort and gets involved with a teenage lolita (Fani) who is there with her parents and rather malicious best friend. She teases the older man mercilessly--going to a hotel and dancing with him naked and then suddenly getting dressed and running off to a party with a young American guy. But it's not so much because she is malicious, but because she is really an insecure virgin. Finally, he gives up on her after his beautiful wife (Barbara Bouchet) shows up. But the younger woman becomes jealous and is not going to give up so easily. . .

French actor Philip Leroy was certainly good-looking for a balding, middle-age man, but he hardly seems the stuff of teenage fantasies, and he's also a rather unsympathetic character here. Fans of Barbara Bouchet may be disappointed that she doesn't show up until halfway through the movie here and stays (mostly) dressed. This is definitely very good role for Fani, however, and certainly worth seeing if you like her. This is not a compelling art film, nor is it a strong genre film, so it is probably unlikely to ever see an English-language release, but you can probably find it (in Italian)if look hard enough.
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