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Baron Ferdinando Cefalù (Marcello Mastroianni) longs to marry his nubile cousin Angela, but one obstacle stands in his way: his fatuous and fawning wife, Rosalia. His solution? Since divorce is illegal, he will devise a scenario wherein he can catch his spouse in the arms of another and murder her to save his honor-a lesser offense. Criterion is proud to present director Pietro Germi's hilarious and cutting satire of Italy's hypocritical judicial system and male-dominated culture, winner of the 1962 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, in a two-disc DVD edition that also features a documentary on the director, new interviews with the actors and screenwriter, screen-test footage, and more.
Divorce Italian Style is a comedy milestone--a brilliant, biting satire that was originally conceived as a drama; directed with nonstop inventiveness by a filmmaker who had never done comedy; and featuring an actor who, though not even among the first dozen players considered, cemented his international stardom with this performance. The movie also marked a breakthrough for foreign film in America, winning popular as well art-house success, Academy Award nominations for director Pietro Germi and star Marcello Mastroianni, and--the first of only a few foreign-language films to do so--the Oscar itself for Original Screenplay.
On the sun-blasted island of Sicily, Baron Ferdinand "Fefè" Cefalù (Mastroianni) breaks out of his heat- and boredom-induced stupor long enough to be smitten with mad passion for his 16-year-old cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli). But he's married--to Rosalia (Daniela Rocca), she of the unfortunate mustache--and the Italian Penal Code gives him no way out... except, of course, for catching his wife in adultery and availing himself of the patriarchal license to commit a "crime of honor." So Fefè searches for a way to fling Rosalia into the arms of another man.
Mastroianni's Fefè is an indelible masterpiece, visually and behaviorally: a portrait in painterly chiaroscuro, with brilliantined hair, eternally drooping eyelids, a cigarette holder angled in perpetual salute, and a manic, conspiratorial slouch, like Groucho Marx on painkillers. Germi's direction hustles the film along with bold, mobile camerawork, stream-of-consciousness lurches into fantasy and flashback, Fefè's feverish voiceover commentary, and a wonderfully propulsive music score by the late Carlo Rustichelli. --Richard T. Jameson
Divorce, Italian Style is a film I almost rate up. It is an entertaining story and somehow Mastroianni is able to make the film comical and play a sympathetic lead. Read morePublished 5 days ago by rbrogan3
Just like "Seduced and Abandoned", hysterical and sad at the same time. It will SURELY offend the sensibilities of feminists, but there's an element of Karma/Revenge... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cameltow- Albuquerque
Super fast shipping and excellent quality DVD. Thank you!Published 9 months ago by Cynthia O' Keeffe
One of my favorite movies! I am so happy that it is available in DVd form as it is not easily accessible in popular streaming sites.Published 13 months ago by Adrienne M. Butvinik
"Divorce Italian Style" is a charcoal black comedy about an aristocrat who wants to kill his wife so he can possess his cousin. Read morePublished 16 months ago by B. Adducchio
I used to think it was "Dr. Strangelove." Sometimes I still think it's "Lolita." Or "The Rite of Spring," "Guernica, "Sweeney Todd," "The Great Gatsby," "The Book of Mormon,"... Read morePublished on December 7, 2012 by trastevere
The film parodies the divorce laws of Italy during the 1960s, when a man could kill his wife with little to no punishment if she had been unfaithful to him. Read morePublished on October 27, 2012 by Jay
This marvellous film was an instant hit in the sixties, even without subtitles. You don't have to know Italian to get the story, as the characters and action are self-explanatory. Read morePublished on January 12, 2012 by Vanploy