Scandal in the Family (1975) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
2 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Not the most believable casting, but still pretty good
lazarillo2 July 2007
This is another of a strange series of Italian films of the 1970's that focused on dysfunctional, and often incestuous families (see "Appassionata", "La Seduccione"). These films usually veered between soapy melodramas and screwball sex comedies. Among the American films they most closely resememble are "American Beauty", on the more serious side, and "Down and Out In Beverly Hills" on the more comedic. This film greatly resembles the latter (perhaps because both were partially inspired by the 1930's French film "Boudu Saved from Drowning"). A young man (Michele Placido) comes to stay with his relatives and soon finds himself sexually involved with the wife, the teenage daughter (Jenny Tamburi) and the maid/husband's mistress (Simonate Stefanelli). Much ribaldry ensues.

Perhaps the best reason to see this is the ever-luscious Jenny Tamburi, once again cast as the world's most voluptuous (and least convincing) teenage girl. (Don't think I'm complaining though--a real teenager probably wouldn't have been able to do the voluminous nude scenes she has here). Even less convincing is Simoneta "the Italian Mrs. Michael Corleone" Stefanelli as a maid. She joins a long line of incredibly beautiful women (Laura Antonelli, Tamara La Costa, Elizabeth Pena, Paz Vega) who play maids in the movies, but in the real world would NEVER have to seek domestic employment. That's not to say these two and all the other actors involved, are not enjoyable. This movie doesn't have the most believable casting perhaps, but its pretty good. Hard to find (and unavailable in English as far as I know), but worth it if you like these kind of films.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
SINS IN THE FAMILY (Bruno Gaburro, 1974) **1/2
Bunuel19768 March 2007
I haven't watched that many of the endless stream of sex comedies that emanated from Italy since the early 60s: despite being looked down on because of their inherent vulgarity, these films have become cult items (many are now available on Italian DVD, including SINS IN THE FAMILY itself) and, in any case, they managed to popularize a spate of enthusiastic comic actors and willing female starlets.

The film under review (co-written by Lianella Carell, a former actress who had appeared in one of the undisputed masterpieces of Italian cinema – Vittorio De Sica's BICYCLE THIEVES [1948], whose Criterion SE I've just ordered via the ongoing Deep Discount sale) features a couple of them: Jenny Tamburi, whose acting ability seemed greater than that of many of her colleagues (eerily enough, the day on which I watched this marked the first anniversary of her death!) and Renzo Montagnani (whose first starring role this was and which virtually proved a template for most of his subsequent vehicles). Still, the film was perhaps slightly elevated for its type, as the cast also featured Juliette Mayniel (of EYES WITHOUT A FACE [1959] and also the mother of Vittorio Gassman's son, Alessandro) and real-life couple Michele Placido and Simonetta Stefanelli (best-known for playing Michael Corleone's ill-fated first wife in THE GODFATHER [1972]); it is, in fact, comparable to some of the more serious efforts that I'd watched from this subgenre – namely GRAZIE ZIA (1968) and LA SEDUZIONE (1973; also co-starring Tamburi).

The plot - a sort of parody on Pasolini's THEOREM (1968) - deals with the lifestyle of a petit bourgeois family being disrupted by the arrival of relative Placido; while Montagnani forsakes his middle-aged wife Mayniel for the attentions of lusty young maid Stefanelli, Placido takes turns getting involved with Mayniel, Stefanelli herself and, above all, the couple's wild teenage daughter Tamburi. Apart from a typically lively score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, the film contains a number of undeniably hilarious moments (all provided by Montagnani) – his exclamation of "Gold" whenever he sees a naked body; his peeping through the keyhole of the bathroom door (mistaking his showering elderly gardener for the maid!); the seaside outing where he pretends to have a cramp so as to attract the maid's attention and nearly drowns; his account of a miserly relative who, to spare the expense of erecting a memorial at the burial place of the latter's grandfather, decides to leave the old man's head exposed!; replying to the advise given him by his doctor/best friend with an invitation for both to go f*** themselves; insulting what he thinks to be the Finnish delegate before him, only to be told that the woman is actually the interpreter, etc.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed