Divorce Italian Style (Divorzio all'italiana)
Directed by Pietro Germi with Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli
The Marriage Circle
1961, Italy Ferdinando Cefalu, Mastroianni’s down-at-the-heels Sicilian baron, needs a way to get rid of his wife which sidesteps divorce (unthinkably embarrassing!) and avoids murder (too much jail time). A crime of honor would warrant a slap on the wrist, thus the scheming Ferdinando lures his wife’s old flame to town and prepares surveillance equipment—even as he continues to woo a new love interest: his teenage cousin (Sandrelli). On the heels of his dramatic turn as La Dolce Vita’s self-loathing journalist, Mastroianni revealed a hilarious comic prowess that cemented his stardom. An international smash, Germi’s caper film won the Best Comedy award at Cannes as well as several Oscar nominations, a nod to what Dave Kehr describes as the satire’s “terrific entertainment, a European corollary to Preston Sturges.”
“Italy had produced funny caper films before this—notably Big Deal on Madonna Street, released only a few years earlier and also featuring Mastroianni—but I can think of no previous Italian movie that had invited the audience to participate in a murder and laugh about it… It is, of course, a perfect movie.” —Stuart Klawans
While You Better Sit Down, The Civilians’ hysterical account of marriage and divorce, plays on the Paramount Mainstage, this program samples cinematic depictions of the comedy—and the awfulness—of marital strife.
Divorce Italian Style
October 21 @ 8:30pm
October 22 @ 8:45pm
Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center
$10. $7.50 for Members & Seniors. $5 for Students.
Italian with English subtitles
Black and White, 35mm—New Print!