boccaccio '70 | comedy | fantasy | romance | italy france | anita ekberg | sophia loren | romy schneider | marisa solinas | giovanni arpino | italo cavino | suso cecchi d'amico | federico fellini | ennio flaiano | mario monicelli | goffredo parise | tullio pinelli
Film: Boccaccio ‘70
Director: Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Mario Monicelli and Luchino Visconti
Writer: Giovanni Arpino, Italo Cavino, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Mario Monicelli, Goffredo Parise, Tullio Pinelli, Brunello Rondi, Luchino Visconti and Cesare Zavattini
Starring: Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren and Romy Schneider
This film is a compilation of four stories about love. The first one that we see is entitled Renzo e Luciana. This film follows a young woman played by Marisa Solinas. She works as a book-keeper in a factory. She feigns that she has to go to a dentist and leaves work. She gets on a bus with a bunch of her co-workers who give her grief for not being married or have a boyfriend. She has to go back to work later that day for overtime.
She gets off the bus and gets into a car with her father, mother and two younger siblings. She puts on some clothing and goes to a building. We then realize that she is getting married to Germano Gilioli. Their service has to be quick so she can get back to work.
Once back, we see that she is not wearing her wedding ring. We learn that her boss would fire her if he found out she was married. She has to hide what she has done.
Another problem is that they live at home with her family. Will their marriage last not having a place or even a room to their selves? Can they hide from her boss that they aren’t married? What about when starts making advances on her, will Gilioli stand for this?
The second segment is entitled Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio or the Temptation of Dr. Antonio. This one follows a doctor played by Peppino De Filippo. He is a prude and is out to make the world a better place. His way of doing this is breaking up a lover’s lane of cars full of people necking and making love. He buys up a bunch of pictures at a newsstand of beautiful women in different poses to tear them up.
His world is turned upside though when a giant billboard is put up across the street from his apartment of Anita Ekberg with a glass of milk. She is wearing a dress that exposes her legs from the knee down and the top of her bust. He is sure that this is ruining the park and those that come to it. He tries his hardest to get this billboard taken down, but to no avail.
He then believes that Ekberg on the billboard is moving. He then goes out after a rain to make sure that is not the case. He is then tormented by Ekberg who is a giant compared to him. Is he losing his mind or this a dream? What will become of Filippo?
The next tale is Il lavoro or The Work. This one has a count returning to his home, he is played by Tomas Milian. He is met by his lawyer, played by Romolo Valli. It turns out that there is a scandal involving Milian with a few different high priced call girls. His wife has not been seen so Valli has gotten together some people to help cover up this story so it does not shame Milian or his wife. While they are talking though, his wife returns.
Milian goes to see her and she is played by Romy Schneider. We learn that she is from a wealthy German family. It appears that Milian has the estate and the title while Schneider’s family has the money. Her father has frozen the accounts so Milian cannot take out any funds. She is not upset about what happened, but she did go to see the woman who arranged for Milian to see these women as well as the ones who came forward to expose him.
Her plan is that she will not use the money that her father has given her and her husband. She has elected to get a job. Much to Milian’s dismay, she is not staying at their apartment that night, but going out. She informs him that it is to meet with a friend about a job. Milian at first states he will go out as well, but he is turned on by Schneider and her change. What is Schneider’s plan for a job? Will she go out or can Milian convince her to stay in? What will the repercussions of this decision be?
The final story is entitled La riffa or the The Raffle. This one has a man selling raffle tickets. The men at first do not know what it is for, but he explains that it is not fixed. He uses the first winning number of the raffle for Naples to decide the winner. He convinces one man who then in turns gets everyone else to start buying them.
The prize is to sleep with Sophia Loren, who runs a shooting booth at the fair they are at. It turns out that she is doing this to help get a tax collector off the back of the man who is selling tickets and his pregnant wife, who is Loren’s best friend. We see a large group of men, who Loren hopes does not win the raffle. To make it even worse though, there is a man who saves Loren from a bull that got away. They kiss behind the booth she works out and she is smitten.
The man who ends up winning is a shy and not the best looking. Loren has a crush on the man who saved her. Will she go through with her part of the agreement? Or will she break the promise she made? Will the man who she finds attractive find out? What will his reaction be if he does?
This film is quite interesting. It is four different tales of love and the different forms that it comes in. We have young love that is strained by many different aspects. We have temptation and lust. There is a loveless marriage and the lengths that people will go to be happy. Then there is another that involves lust, true love and doing less than savory things to help a friend who is in need. I felt that the acting was okay. The women in all of the stories are beautiful, which is what they were going for. The rest of the cast are not bad. They play their role realistically, but none of them do enough to blow me away with their performance. Being a compilation film, the stories aren’t overly complex, but we do get a resolution in each. There are also no big twists or anything along those lines either.
I did have some issues that the copy I had, the voices didn’t always sync up with the mouths. This film is from Italy so it had to be subtitled. That wasn’t an issue for me, but when I’m watching what is happening on the screen, it does throw me off when the mouths do not line up. This film is also over three hours long, but it is broken up into 45 or so minute segments. This film doesn’t necessarily have to be watched straight through as none of the stories tie into the other. I guess I wanted a little more out of the stories, but it is all about the love and the character arc/development. I also wonder if there could have been a tie-in story that would have connected the whole film together instead of just breaking it into four acts.
This film was viewed due to it being in a Horror Film Encyclopedia. The reason that it was added was due to the segment Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio. Seeing him terrorized by a giant billboard of Ekberg to the point where he sees her as a giant. He is completely helpless to the point where she appears the same size he is still helpless. Her beauty then is what holds power over him, despite his prudish nature and trying to resist. This temptation drives him into madness which is another aspect of horror as well.
Now with that said, I would recommend this film if you are interested in films about love and the many forms it comes in. This film is kind of a comedy and has some fantasy aspects in Ekberg segment. The women in all of the segments are beautiful and reveal some skin, but not complete nudity. It is interesting to see the different types of love out there and how people deal with it. This film can be difficult to find and I had to watch it with English subtitles on. It also is from the 1960s as well, so keep that in mind. Other than that though, this film was quite entertaining. I wouldn’t necessarily approach this film as a horror film though, except for a loose version with Ekberg segment.
My Rating: 7 out of 10