Go on a cross country adventure with Cher in her first dramatic film, Chastity. Chastity ('Cher') is a lonely young girl who is hitchhiking across the country in hopes of finding someone to... See full summary »
In 1935 a group of elderly British women, whom the Italians have named the Scorpioni, have chosen Italy, specifically Florence, as a place to live to blend their proper British sensibilities with their love of Italian art and culture. One of those Scorpioni, Mary Walsh, works as the English secretary for Paolo Innocente, who, in part because of his own wife's adamant refusal, largely neglects his illegitimate adolescent son, Luca, despite Paolo's want for Luca to grow up to be a proper young man, much like the English. Luca has lived in an orphanage since his dressmaker mother's death, death a concept that Luca does not yet understand. As such, he often runs away looking for his mother. On a mutual agreement between Paolo and Mary, Mary becomes Luca's guardian, she who will receive help in raising Luca by her fellow Scorpioni and financial help from Paolo as needed. Associated with the Scorpioni is a brash younger nouveau riche Jewish-American woman named Elsa Morgenthal, who, because...Written by
Thirty years earlier, Maggie Smith starred in The Prime of Miss Jeam Brodie (1969), as another misguided woman who worshiped Mussolini. See more »
The ladies protect the frescoes by building a wall around them using sandbags. But the bags are obviously filled with something light and fluffy, such as kapok or cotton. See more »
The love affair between the artistically-inclined English community and Florence was soon to be overshadowed by the clouds of war.
But at the moment the sun is still shining on the squares and statues, and the dictator Mussolini is the gentleman who makes the trains run on time.
Excuse me, are you the Consul?
Connie Raynor of the Morning Post. I'm fascinated to know what His Majesty's Consul in Florence makes of it all?
I can't believe your readers would be ...
[...] See more »
The MGM DVD, ISBN 0-7928-4300-2, is missing least one shot: The original tea with Mussolini scene ends with Mussolini forcing himself upon the reporter, forcing her onto his desk (i.e., he rapes her.) This DVD omits that ending and leaves the reporter's change in behavior unexplained. See more »
I had wanted to see this film for some time and when the opportunity finally materialised I was enthralled. It is probably the best performance I have seen by Maggie Smith, who often seems to be playing the same character actually. But this is her best since Miss Jean Brodie, and Joan Plowright, Judi Dench, Lily Tomlin and Cher are all equally impressive.
The settings are skilfully designed to draw the viewer in, and when you are setting your movie in Florence and its environs you can't go wrong anyway. The ongoing clash between two worlds i.e. Lady Hester Random (Maggie Smith) versus Elsa (Cher) reaches a satisfying resolution which it would be unfair to reveal.
There are splendid comic vignettes mixed into the overall drama. Judi Dench and her dog being thrown out of the cathedral, sharply contrasts with the chilling moment when the Jewish arts professor is taken away by the Gestapo. Understated but none the less effective, probably more so, because of it.
If you haven't seen this film, see it as soon as you can.
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