7.2/10
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The Most Beautiful Wife (1970)

La moglie più bella (original title)
Based on the story of Franca Viola and Filippo Melodia. In Sicily, as a Mafia boss leaves for prison, he advises Vito, a young man who's his potential successor, to marry a virtuous and ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alessio Orano ...
Vito Juvara
...
Tano Cimarosa ...
Gaetano Cimarosa (as Gaetano Cimarosa)
Joe Sentieri ...
Poidomani
Enzo Andronico ...
Avvocato
Amerigo Tot ...
Antonino Stella
Pierluigi Aprà ...
Tenente dei carabinieri (as Pier Luigi Apra)
Salvatore Baccaro ...
(as Salvatore Vaccaro)
Sandro Arlotta
Diego Morreale
Mariella Palmich
Giuseppe Lauricella
Jocelyne Munchenbach ...
(as Joceline Münchenbach)
Fortunato Arena
Prassede Nogara
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Storyline

Based on the story of Franca Viola and Filippo Melodia. In Sicily, as a Mafia boss leaves for prison, he advises Vito, a young man who's his potential successor, to marry a virtuous and poor woman. Vito's eye settles on Francesca, only 15, but lovely and self-possessed. Among her virtues are high self worth and forthright speech, so although she falls in love with Vito, she won't bow down to him. Believing he's losing face, he has his boys kidnap her and he rapes her. Then, he tells her he'll still marry her. Instead, she files charges. Her parents, brother, and neighbors refuse to support her. Will she break? Will Vito continue his assaults? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

12 March 1970 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Mulher mais Bela  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The late '70s French-dubbed release version of this film has over 10 minutes of added hardcore sex scenes, mainly appearing at the beginning of the film, featuring anonymous performers, yet its overall running time is 20 minutes shorter than the original Italian film. See more »

Connections

Edited into Lo schermo a tre punte (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Ornella Muti's first film
8 September 2007 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

Ornella Muti has always been an interesting actress. Like a lot of her Italian contemporaries--Eleanora Giorgi, Jenny Tamburi, Gloria Guida--she has been in a lot of "exploitative" roles and movies (in one movie of hers I saw, for instance, her character willingly loses her virginity to her own father), but unlike these other actresses she has also managed to turn in a lot of superb roles in more highbrow art films, and her career has thus lasted a lot longer. On the other hand, her courage in choosing film roles has also allowed her to endure a lot longer than a lot of American actresses who never want to risk doing anything that might be exploitative and as a result never do anything really interesting either. The director Damiano Damiani is the same way--he's done art films like this, on one hand, but some the most exploitative trash imaginable (like "Amityville Horror 2"), on the other, but his films are rarely less than interesting.

This movie based on true story is about a young Sicilian girl (Muti) who is raped by the son of a Mafia don who is trying to force her to marry him by taking her virginity, but she instead goes to the police, which is something women just didn't do at the time (and something only a few brave souls in Sicily ever did to the Mafia). Muti is really good, which isn't that surprising perhaps, but so is her future husband, Alessio Oranio, who plays the mafioso, and who I had always pegged as a talentless pretty-boy. It may seem hard to believe the androgenously handsome Oranio would have to rape anyone (although it seemed to be his specialty for some reason--he also raped Jane Birkin in "May Morning", a drugged Elke Summer in "Lisa and the Devil", and Femi Benussi, kind of, in "The Killer Must Kill Again."). It's made clear in this movie, however, that the abduction and rape is a matter of pride, not sex, after this beautiful but poor peasant girl spurns the wealthy and vain young man's proposal of marriage.

I don't want to give away too much more of the plot, but it is a well-directed and well-acted and ultimately very powerful film. It's not one of Muti's more exploitative roles (she was only fourteen at the time), but she had plenty of those too. Check this one out for sure.


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