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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2002
I was taken by suprise by this while I was watching television. I immediately ran out and picked it up for myself. First off I want to make it clear that although there is some violence toward women in this Wertmuller is NOT a hater of women. The violence is to show how weak the male characters are to the strength of the women oin the story(THe very end makes that clear). In every film I have seen by Lina Wertmuller the women always come out ahead in the sticky rocky ride of modern Italian relationships.
I was floored at this films mix of politics and comedy which is a mix Wertmuller was never afraid to use as often in her career as Hitchcock used "the common man accused of a crime and catching the killer to prove himself innocent".
The performances are amazing and this film ranks amnong the best in the directors career. Highly recommended even if the quality of the dvd is a little off par.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 1999
The superficial story is entertaining enough, but the deeper studies of human behavior make this (and most of Wertmuller's films) worthy of repeated and in-depth study. The knock-down, drag-out fight in the middle of the movie (which, conveniently enough, is the big turning point) is so completely self-consciously hilarious that I was rolling in the aisles in fits of laughter. As the two soon-to-be lovers grapple with each other along the length and breadth of the island they are spewing out an incredibly sensitive combination of heartfelt emotion and mindless class rhetoric.
Giancarlo Giannini is a fantastic actor possessed of one of cinema's all-time most expressive faces. Wertmuller knows how to exploit his talents to their fullest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
Raffaella (Mariangela Melato) is an upper class, blond and beautiful young woman sailing in the Mediterranean Sea on a large and magnificent yacht loaded with luxuries and servile, lower class sailors expected to grovel in her presence and in the presence of others of equal power and wealth. She is a motor-mouthed complainer who continually rattles on about politics, the low quality of service in restaurants, the smell of the sailors eager to serve her and on a variety of other topics. Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini) does his best to serve food and drinks to Raffaella promptly and efficiently, but is gradually getting sick of her whining pushiness. At a turning point in the movie, Raffaella suddenly decides she wants to explore away from the yacht and orders Gennarino to drive her around in the yacht's dinghy. He protests that it would be dangerous to start out so late in the day, but she batters him into submission with her machine-gun explanations. They start out with Gennarino at the controls of a small outboard motor. The motor fails, they drift aimlessly for days, then land on a gorgeous Mediterranean island. Raffaella was the dominant, bossy person early in her relationship with Gennarino, but now is proving herself to be without a work ethic or survival skills, useless out of her element and without license to continue bossing Gennarino. Meanwhile, Gennarino is having tremendous success showing off his ability to gather food and otherwise prosper in a bountiful new environment. Eventually, Raffaella submits to Gennarino's better judgment in this new setting and allows him to become her survivalist boss. He has turned the tables on her, but it doesn't end there. She learns to think of him as her master, then falls in love with him. They have a whirlwind courtship on the island which leads to an extremely erotic scene of the couple rising to the unbridled lust stage while rolling together on the island's big and beautiful sand dunes. They wrestle with the question of whether they should stay on the island forever or return to the mainland but remain together as a couple for the rest of their lives. They repeatedly vow to remain as a loving couple until the movie's end when they are forced to choose love rising above class differences or letting class differences tear them apart, leaving them remembering the island adventure only as a temporary fling.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2000
"Swept Away" is, first and foremost, about Italians! The class and political conflicts portrayed are rooted in Italian life and culture. To be sure, the basic male-female rich-poor antagonism is universal, but the specifics of their struggles and their very personalities are as Italian as, well, pasta! Those politically-correct types who would focus solely upon the scenes of Giancarlo Giannini smacking around Mariangela Melato seem also not to notice that, leading up to it, he is subjected to the worst kind of verbal cruelty and less-than-human treatment from Melato's character. They also come away with the notion that the film propagates the idea that a woman can only be happy if a man cruelly dominates her. I would think this superficial understanding is innately absurd, since a woman directed the film! Of course, this is not at all what the film is about. Both characters are deeply flawed, but their conflicts with each other and within themselves are wonderfully funny and sweet and sad. I would say that Wertmüuller ultimately wants us to believe that Melato's character (and women) are the more moral (and less hypocritical) by having her recognize that, in spite of her newly developed (and I think genuine) feelings for Giannini's character, she must ultimately let him go - quite simply because he (and she) are married to other people! Melato's character truly learns something, while Giannini's character looks upon it all as just more evidence that you can never trust a woman - all while his own wife awaits him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
i loved this film.

if you are a foreign subtitle yuppie like me who appreciates the difference in european vs american directors, this film should literally sweep you away.

it's different, it takes the male macho point of view, but it also opens up the macho attitude in the same way that marcello mastroianni did with his films like WIFEMISTRESS, CITY OF WOMEN, 8 1/2 and LA DOLCE VITA.

the story is role reversal. a communist crew member on a yacht who hates rich people gets stranded on a deserted tropical island with a rich blonde. both are married but suddenly he is boss -- not she. her money means nothing on the island and she literally becomes his slave and eventually his love slave in order for both of them to survive. the movie is better than the one tom hanks starred in when his plane crashes and he is forced to survive on his own.

the u.s. version of this movie, made by madonna, was terrible. this one will show you the creative talents of wertmueller. try it. you'll enjoy your evening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2007
I have waited many years to view this masterpiece in its original Italian and it was worth the wait, particularly after having to suffer the English-dubbed VHS version and the (shudder) Madonna remake. This movie was was every bit as relevant today as it was in 1974. It illustrates beautifully the swiftness with which tables can turn and who has the upper hand can be reversed within the blink of an eye. Government and sexual politics have not changed all that much in three decades, Mariangela Melato is still gorgeous despite being stranded on a deserted island and Giancarlo Giannini's face is still delightfully expressive. Dialog is a bit difficult to follow but the message is clear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2006
HI I REMEMBER HAVING SEEN THIS FILM IN ITALY WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT IN THE SEVENTIES AND THE ORIGINAL TITLE:" TRAVOLTI DA UN INSOLITO DESTINO NELL'AZZURRO MARE D'AGOSTO" REMAINED IMPRESSED IN MY MIND AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF: WOW WAT A LONG TITLE". I ENJOYED THE FILM SO MUCH THAT I WAS PLEASED NOW I OWN IT, THANKS TO THE INTERNET AND AMAZON!

WHAT IMPRESSED ME MOST WAS THE REVENGE OF THIS COMUNIST WORKER TOWARD THE CAPITALISM OF THE NORTH OF ITALY. EVERYTHING FITS WELL AS THE FILM GOES ON. FUNNY AND DRAMMATIC! IF YOU LIKE THIS KIND OF FILMS YOU REALLY ARE FOR A BIG SURPRISE! ENJOY AND CIAO FOR NOW FROM VITO.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2007
The consensus best film of Lina Wertmüller is this gem of a story, a film and two performances which put the actors on the world map. (Ignore the Madonna remake.) Mariangela Melato was (and is) a stunner. And Giancarlo Giannini is every American's notion of a European actor (even moreso in the recent HANNIBAL). The remastered version enhances the brilliant color of the "Blue Sea of August" and replaces skin scenes deleted from earlier editions for some reason. The bitchiness of MM inthe first fifteen minutes is irritating, but it establishes her character and is therefore necessary. A must have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2009
Director Lina Wertmuller's provocative film Swept Away 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. Also good is Seven Beauties
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2000
I love all of this movie except the end. It's about a rich lady and a laborer stranded on an island. At first, the rich lady is arrogant and demanding. Soon it occurs to the laborer that there is no reason to take her abuse, and he turns the tables on her and starts to dominate and abuse her. She loves it. They fall in love thanks to his new attitude. This couple is so cute. One of the things I like about them is that even though he'll slap her, he wouldn't really hurt her. The blissful couple doesn't want to be rescued. But the man decides that the only way to really be sure of his lady's true love is to be rescued and have her give up her wealthy life for him, returning to the island with him. She begs him not to do that. She knows herself a lot better than he does.
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