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Chaste and Pure (1981)

Casta e pura (original title)
Antonio is married to a very wealthy woman but the sole heir of the family fortune is his daughter. He induce his dying wife to swear in the daughter of remaining "chaste and pure" ( so that she cannot marry ) until his own death.

Director:

Salvatore Samperi

Writers:

Bruno Di Geronimo, Michel Gast (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Antonelli ... Rosa Di Maggio
Fernando Rey ... Antonio Di Maggio
Christian De Sica ... Carletto Morosini
Enzo Cannavale ... Don Bottazzi
Gabrielle Lazure ... Lisetta
Jean-Marc Bory ... Dr. Natal (as Jean Marc Bory)
Vincenzo Crocitti Vincenzo Crocitti ... 'Picci'
Valeria Fabrizi Valeria Fabrizi ... Seconda moglie di Bottesini
Elsa Vazzoler Elsa Vazzoler ... Assunta
Riccardo Billi Riccardo Billi ... Padre di Carletto
Diego Cappuccio Diego Cappuccio ... Dario Di Maggio
Adriana Giuffrè Adriana Giuffrè
Sergio Di Pinto Sergio Di Pinto ... Gustavo Bottesini
Massimo Ranieri ... Fernando
Graziella Polesinanti Graziella Polesinanti
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Storyline

Antonio is the husband of a rich heiress who, shortly before his wife's death, realizing he risks being expelled from the estate, convinces the dying woman to ask their small daughter Rosa for a vow of chastity, so that she cannot marry until the death of father. Twenty years later, she is now a beautiful woman, all home and church, who lives in respect of the oath made on her mother's deathbed. Soon, however, she starts first to have strange dreams and then to have winking night visits from her cousin Fernando. Extremely disturbed by these events, she confides to her confessor pastor that she wants to become a nun and to give all her belongings to charity. As soon as his father becomes aware of this idea, in order not to lose the patrimony of which he is the usufructuary, he organizes a group sexual initiation towards his daughter. This event, however, opens the eyes of Rosa who finally makes herself independent.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 77250 delivered on 30-10-1981. See more »

User Reviews

 
Very, very mediocre...
7 January 2015 | by peterosenauSee all my reviews

The old widower Antonio enjoys dabbling with the vast family heritage, but the actual heir is his daughter Rosa. And once married, she will get control over all the riches. To ensure that this will never happen, Antonio had pressed the decennial Rosa to take a vow of chastity. Now, twenty years later, Rosa has remained true to her vow, but the temptations all around her just get to be too much for her. Antonio realizes he has to act fast to secure his position and therefore stages a pagan festival, where his lustful friends shall dispose of Rosa's desires once and for all…

Many of director Salvatore Sampieri's works deal with impossible sexual or romantic fulfillment. And he is known for his biting satiric stance on bourgeoisie, old-school social conventions and similar class-conceit. All these ingredients are present in "Casta e pura", but it is just played out too simply. There is a bunch of random buffoons hanging around Antonio's villa, all deranged, incestuous, greedy and whatnot. Antonio is of course the worst, kidding his daughter for twenty years, always pretending the vow is for her own good. The contrast to the only "unspoilt" person, Rosa, comes out way too extreme to take any of these characters seriously – in the end the satiric elements serve for cheap jokes only. Speaking of Rosa, she is truly "chaste and pure", but the general setup feels very far-fetched and the situations the screenplay puts her in are just repetitive, be it the confessions, the lame gags with her dropping dishes, or not less than three nightly gatherings with the greedy cook. You can understand Rosa's misery and bitter situation, but the character remains shallow. Laura Antonelli's very own "Mio Dio, come sono caduta in basso" (1974) showed perfectly how to build up a story on a similarly awkward premise, and managed to be funny throughout. "Casta e pura" unfortunately fails.

The big turning point, the weird pagan party, is quite a disappointment as well. Resembling the Roman rape of the Sabine Women, the editing is very choppy (in two occasions we see Rosa nude, but after a cut, she is dressed again, plus rough music jumps). Of course the cruelty of the father and his friends is now pushed to the top. Now we suddenly get a rape-and-revenge situation with a very serious rape and a slapstick revenge afterwards. At this point the screenplay collapses completely and the whole payback stuff is just contrived. Rosa is suddenly like new-born, stone cold and will give everybody the just desserts. I was glad when it was over.

Laura Antonelli, while being absolutely wonderful to behold (sometimes even in the nude), is a little too old for the role (she was 39 by then), and I must say her performance leaves something to be desired. However, in view of the simple screenplay and the lack of any other remarkable actor, it is okay. The "rural" Italian dialect by some of the characters is very hard to understand, so I can't rule out I missed some hidden gags.

Overall, there is some general quality to "Casta e pura", one you can expect from a renowned director like Sampieri, but the movie never gets momentum owing to a lackluster screenplay and overly simple characterizations.


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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

5 November 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Agni kai ithiki See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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