Tag Archives: Italy

Teresa Venerdì (1941) Vittorio De Sica, Adriana Benetti, Irasema Dilián, Comedy, Drama, Romance

teresa-venerdi-1941
A comedy of errors in which the sweetly incompetent Dr. Pietro Vignali (de Sica) has been run deep into debt by his girlfriend, Loletta Prima (Magnani). After his creditors threaten to sell his belongings, he takes a job as an orphanage health inspector to pay his debts and ends up engaged to wealthy Lilli, daughter of a mattress tycoon, and chased after by the orphan Teresa Venerdí, while trying to keep his life in order.

Read More »

Outrage / ¡Dispara! (1993) Carlos Saura, Francesca Neri, Antonio Banderas, Eulàlia Ramon, Drama, Romance, Thriller

outrage-1993
Ana is an equestrian sharpshooter for a one ring circus in Madrid for a week. Marcos is a reporter doing a Sunday supplement piece. He interviews her and she invites him to dinner with the troupe. They dance, then spend the night together; he considers following her around Europe and promises he’d follow her to Hell. While he’s in Barcelona to cover a concert, three young men assault her. Bruised, humiliated, and bleeding, she picks up her rifle to hunt them down. Marcos follows her trail that, indeed, takes him to Ana’s hell.

Read More »

The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) Ken Loach, Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Drama, History, War

The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)
In 1920, rural Ireland is the vicious battlefield of republican rebels against the British security forces and Irish Unionist population who oppose them, a recipe for mutual cruelty. Medical graduate Damien O’Donovan always gave priority to his socialist ideals and simply helping people in need. Just when he’s leaving Ireland to work in a highly reputed London hospital, witnessing gross abuse of commoners changes his mind. He returns and joins the local IRA brigade, commanded by his brother Teddy, and adopts the merciless logic of civil war, while Teddy mellows by experiencing first-hand endless suffering. When IRA leaders negotiate an autonomous Free State under the British crown, Teddy defends the pragmatic best possible deal at this stage. Damien however joins the large seceding faction which holds nothing less than a socialist republic will do. The result is another civil war, bloodily opposing former Irish comrades in arms, even the brothers.

Read More »

Italian Secret Service (1968) Luigi Comencini, Nino Manfredi, Françoise Prévost, Clive Revill, Comedy

italian-secret-service-1968
Durante la seconda guerra mondiale Natalino, col nome in codice di Cappellone, salva la vita ad un agente britannico, Harrison. Venti anni dopo quando si trova in cattive acque, Natalino accetta da Harrison di compiere un’ultima missione contro i nazisti: uccidere uno di loro dietro compenso di 100.000 dollari. Ma i tempi sono cambiati e Natalino non se la sente più di uccidere, così passa l’incarico a Ottone che a sua volta lo cede all’avvocato Ramirez che a sua volta… e così via. Con tanti passaggi sembra che l’incarico non debba venir eseguito. Ma un’auto con un morto carbonizzato risolve tutto. Natalino vola a Londra, seguito dai suoi complici, per reclamare il pagamento e qua scopre che il morto era incinta… E il vero nazista che fine ha fatto? Ed era veramente un nazista?

Read More »

Madame Sans Gêne / Madame (1961) Christian-Jaque, Sophia Loren, Robert Hossein, Renaud Mary, Comedy, Drama, Romance, War

madame-1961
Catherine, an out-spoken Parisian laundress follows Napoleon’s army to the battlefront to be near her Sergeant Lefevre. The couple perform a deed of heroism which abets Napoleon’s victory, so that after the war the grateful Emperor bestows on the now married couple the title of Duke and Duchess. Catherine squabbles with Napoleon’s haughty sisters, scandalizes the nobility with her lack of courtly manners, flirts with the men – and consistently creates havoc as she remains true to her earthy background.

Read More »

Il merlo maschio / Secret Fantasy (1971) Pasquale Festa Campanile, Lando Buzzanca, Laura Antonelli, Ferruccio De Ceresa, Comedy, Erotic

il-merlo-maschio-aka-secret-fantasy-1971
Niccolò Vivaldi is a cello player and he plays in Arena di Verona Orchestra. But he is not the first and neither the second cello. He is frustrated. Nobody can remember his face, nor his name. Niccolò is married to Costanza, who is really beautiful and he takes some pictures of her naked. Later he shows the pictures to a friend and so he feels better. He starts to write a comic opera called “Il merlo maschio” only to discover later he had written Rossini’s “La gazza ladra”. To maintain his self-esteem he can only show his wife…

Read More »

El verdugo / The Executioner (1963) Luis García Berlanga, Nino Manfredi, Emma Penella, José Isbert, Drama, Comedy

el-verdugo-aka-the-executioner-1963
The history starts with the main character (an old executioner in the Spain of early 60’s) approaching retirement age. As his profession is not exactly what you could call “popular”, he (a very gentle and nice man, caring, and proud of traditions) begins to worry about who might take his place when he retires. He has a daughter, but, unfortunately, she seems doomed to perpetual “spinsterhood”: as soon as any prospective groom learns about her dad and her dad’s “trade”, he runs away from her, scared. A sad life… However, a new character enters: the local undertaker, a handsome and young man who has exactly the same problem… No girl wants him given his profession. So, you have the woman whom almost nobody would marry and the man whom almost nobody would marry. Obviously, they are meant for each other. But here the old executioner has something to say: He does not object to her daughter marrying the young undertaker; he seems a decent man, and all that…

Read More »

Il richiamo / The Call (2009) Stefano Pasetto, Sandra Ceccarelli, Francesca Inaudi, César Bordón, Drama, Romance

il-richiamo-aka-the-call-2009
Stefano Pasetto’s finely balanced tale of two women from different generations and very different sensibilities provides a surprising answer. Frustrated in each of their relationships, the two women get together and leave town, boldly striking out on their own and forming an indelible bond despite their many differences. This is only the beginning of a wonderfully liberating experience that defies narrative expectations.

Read More »