The original Italian is La Viaccia (the name of the family farm which motivates the plot). The death of a wealthy patriarch in 1885 sets off an interfamily power struggle. Son Ferdinando buys out his other relatives in order to gain full control over the dead man’s property. But Ferdinando’s nephew Amerigo holds out. Amerigo’s stance is weakened when he heads for Florence and meets prostitute Bianca.
Tag Archives: Italy
La décade prodigieuse / Ten Days Wonder (1971) Claude Chabrol, Anthony Perkins, Michel Piccoli, Marlène Jobert, Mystery, Drama
Anthony Perkins, a young sculptor with a weird penchant for waking up in strange hotels with his memory wiped clean and bloodied hands, invites a former professor (Michel Piccoli) to the Gatsby-like provincial manor presided over by his powerful tycoon father (Orson Welles). Welcomed by Welles’ young wife (Marlene Jobert), Piccoli soon finds a nest of rats beneath the bourgeoisie voluptuousness — a clan bound in a circle of illicit romance, blackmail, faked burglaries and, of course, murder.
Gli intoccabili / Machine Gun McCain (1969) Giuliano Montaldo, John Cassavetes, Britt Ekland, Peter Falk, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Tough criminal Hank McCain gets released from prison after serving twelve years for armed robbery. Hank hooks up with his son Jack, who has devised a daring plan to rob a Las Vegas casino. Unbeknownst to Hank, Jack is also involved with volatile and ambitious mob capo Charlie Adamo, who uses Hank as a pawn so he can gain control of Vegas territory that’s currently being run by the formidable Don Francesco De Marco.
Recently widowed American opera diva Caterina takes her teenaged son Joe with her on a long singing tour to Italy. Absorbed in her hectic work in various Verdi operas around Rome, Caterina is soon shocked to discover that her troubled and lonely son has become a heroin addict. Her desperate attempts to wean the youth off the drug result in an incestuous relationship, but also in a possibility to reunite Joe–maybe even herself–with his real father, whose existence she has kept a secret from him.
Il Cristo proibito / The Forbidden Christ (1951) Curzio Malaparte, Raf Vallone, Rina Morelli, Alain Cuny, Drama, Mystery, War
Back in his village, former war prisoner Bruno Baldi is dead set on avenging his brother who has been shot by a German firing squad after being given away by a villager. But nobody wants to give him the name of the culprit. At long last, Antonio, a joiner, reveals the informer but this comes at a cost.
L’étudiante / The Student (1988) Claude Pinoteau, Sophie Marceau, Vincent Lindon, Élisabeth Vitali, Comedy, Romance
Three months before her final examinations, the ambitious teachership student Valentine concentrates herself completely on learning. When Jazz musician Edouard wooes her, she agrees on a date though – planning for one night of pleasure only. But when she comes to know him better, she realizes that he isn’t as shallow as she thought… so lust turns to love. But between her examination preparations and a tournee with a jazz band almost no time is left to be spent together.
La venexiana / The Venetian Woman (1986) Mauro Bolognini, Laura Antonelli, Monica Guerritore, Jason Connery, Drama, Romance, Erotic
Venice, sixteenth century. Giulio, a foreign gentleman spends a memorable night in the city where he meets and beds two beautiful women. They are Angela, a widowed lady, and Valeria, whose husband has left for Florence.
Francesco, giullare di Dio / The Flowers of St. Francis (1950) Roberto Rossellini, Aldo Fabrizi, Gianfranco Bellini, Peparuolo, Biography, History, Drama
The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers – starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their Rule and ending with their dispersal to preach. The unconnected chapters are like parables, some with a moral. The slight and comic Ginepro returns naked to St. Mary’s of the Angels, having given away his tunic, but not his ricotta. The aged Giovanni shouts and holds onto his cape; the beatific St. Clair pays a visit. Humble Francis doubts his leadership, hugs a leper, and sends his brothers spinning, dizzy, and smiling into the world. This brotherhood is infused with whimsy as well as belief.
La pacifista – Smetti di piovere / The Pacifist (1970) Miklós Jancsó, Monica Vitti, Pierre Clémenti, Peter Pasetti, Drama
Barbara (Monica Vitti) is a journalist investigating the local counterculture who becomes involved, after an unpleasant start of battery and stalking, with Pierre Clémenti’s louche all-around dropout.
Il signor Max / Mister Max (1937) Mario Camerini, Vittorio De Sica, Assia Noris, Rubi D’Alma, Comedy, Romance
Vittorio De Sica, heir to a large sum of money and owner of a newspaper vending stall, makes enough money out of his business to take a vacation at a fashionable resort. He is given a cruise ticket by an aristocrat who is an old school friend, and is mistaken for the aristocrat when he uses a camera that has his friends name on it. Assia Noris plays a maid who falls in love with him because of who he is and not who others think he is. Happy ending comes when De Sica marries Noris, who is more real than the pampered society belles he has been partying with. Shown in the USA with Italian dialogue and no English titles.