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Swept Away

4.3 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Nov 19, 1997)
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DVD Video
$95.85 $14.99
(Apr 04, 2006)
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$118.99 $35.39

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Editorial Reviews

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean, Swept Away is Lina Wertmüller’s most famous and controversial film about sex, love and politics. On an elegant yacht cruising off the coast of Sardinia, Raffaella, a rich and stunning capitalist, enjoys tormenting Gennarino, a Communist sailor. Fate weaves a different scenario and roles become reversed when the two find themselves stranded together on a deserted island. Raffaella must submit to Gennarino in order to survive which culminates in a dramatic climax when they are rescued. They must determine if their love can survive the harsh realities of civilization.

Special Features

  • Digitally restored and remastered

Product Details

  • Actors: Giancarlo Giannini, Mariangela Melato, Riccardo Salvino, Isa Danieli, Aldo Puglisi
  • Directors: Lina Wertmüller
  • Writers: Lina Wertmüller
  • Producers: Romano Cardarelli
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Content/Copy-Protected CD, Dolby, Original recording remastered, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 4, 2006
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E3L7M8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,287 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Swept Away" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto" (Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August), to give it its convoluted original title, was meant as an allegory on social and class injustice as much as a battle for dominance between the sexes. It is one of Lina Wertmuller's finest films and is the one which most closely fuses her main themes of socio-political and sexual injustice.

Rich, upper-middle-class, Raffaella (Mariangela Melato), a loud-mouthed and opinionated Social Democrat from Milan, and the pampered jet-set clique she hangs out with are on a yachting holiday in the Mediterranean. They are served by a crew of poor working-class, dark skinned southerners, one of whom, Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini), a card carrying communist, cannot abide her whiny bitchiness. As luck would have it, they end up marooned on a deserted island. Torn from their worldly moorings, they undergo a role reversal as the rich, pampered lady has to literally prostrate herself before the menial servant in order to survive. This role reversal is portrayed graphically and very brutally and will certainly have feminists and even many men cringing in disgust, especially in our era of extreme political correctness. She is smacked, beaten, almost raped, made to grovel and finally forced to acknowledge him as her "Master". Incredibly, she slowly falls in love with him. To the point where she no longer wants to be rescued when a passing ship sails within sight of their island "paradise.
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Format: DVD
Director Lina Wertmuller's provocative film takes the class struggle to a desert island where only the man and the woman exist. Wertmuller's scenario is that of the man assuming the role of ruler and the woman one of worker-slave, and this becomes a love relationship. Naturally, the man is the one most reluctant to go back to the society where he is worker-slave and the woman is ruler over him! The black humor is wonderful because it is visual, via the camera angles and shots, and it is beautifully filmed. I'm afraid the new version, from what I've heard,(and I will not pay to see it)meddles with the ending and hence changes the meaning of the film. With a world-class filmmaker like Lina Wertmuller, why fix what isn't broke and do a remake of a perfectly fine work of art?
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Format: DVD
Linda Wertmüller's 1974 Swept Away looks at one of those infamous elephants in the living room that no one wants to talk about - sex and politics. Little wonder it's one of the most controversial movies ever made. Exquisitely filmed in the Mediterranean, Swept Away is the story of two people from very different worlds thrown together by chance. Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini) is a poor sailor working aboard a chartered yacht. Raffaella (Mariangela Melato) is the beautiful, wealthy woman who chartered it. Raffaella treats Gennarino like dirt - constantly insulting and ridiculing him - and he has no choice but to let her. She is capital; he is labor. He must put up with her abuses because he needs her money. That fact gives her power over him. But when the two of them become stranded on a deserted island, the tables are quickly turned. Gennarino has the skills needed to survive. Raffaella's only skills consist of shopping, sunbathing and ordering servants around. If she wants to survive, she must give Gennarino what he wants, and what he wants is nothing less than her complete physical, mental and emotional submission. At first, she resists, later she consents. Eventually, she comes to want - even love - his domination. It would be easy to dismiss Swept Away as pure male fantasy, until you remember that it was made by a woman and a feminist. Wertmüller asks us, with all the subtlety of a Howitzer, to look at the complex relationships between sex and power, and how easily those relationships can be flipped on their heads. You might not like what Wertmüller has to say. You'll probably hate the way she says it. Or not! But love it or hate it, Swept Away is - like the elephant - hard to ignore for long.
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Format: DVD
For those who loathe foreign films, put that prejudice aside and check out this sensational movie. Giannini and Melato make the best screen couple since Bogart and Bergman. Swept Away is filled with witty, intelligent dialogue, hilarious banter and breath-taking scenes of the Mediteranean. It's also fairly politically literate, which is a rarity in Hollywood these days, it's also rare in most other movie making outlets.

The plot sounds as formulaic as humanly possible, but wait! This one is different. It's got a style and panache that barely any other films can match. Sure it was controversial (the misogynistic violence is quite disturbing) but Lina Wertmuller offers up a masterpiece that should not be ignored. It's easily her best and most enjoyable movie. Some would argue Seven Beauties is her best, but I respectfully disagree.

To see this one on a large screen would be quite an experience, just looking at it on my regular television made it seem as if I were cruising the Medeteranean right along with them. They just don't make movies like this anymore, and especially not in Hollywood. When recommending foreign films to your friends you cannot go wrong by pushing this video into their hands.

Wertmuller rightly deserves to be considered one of the world's finest directors (a label that often eludes her, as I feel she's somewhat underrated) with this and other fine productions under her belt.
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