Seduced & Abandoned (The Criterion Collection)
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A Sicilian tries to save face by forcing his daughter's seducer to marry her. Directed by Pietro Germi.
The graceful, biting, deadpan humor of Italian director Pietro Germi has no parallel; it fuses the sly wit of Ernst Lubitsch with the bilious social critique of Luis Bunuel. In Seduced and Abandoned, the blackest of black comedies, a young girl named Agnese (the delectable Stefania Sandrelli, fresh from Germi's Divorce Italian Style) is seduced by her sister's fiance, setting in motion a series of increasingly deranged pretenses by which Agnese's apoplectic father (the volcanic Saro Urzi) attempts to salvage the family honor. Central to everything is a legal code that states if a rapist marries his victim, all wrongdoing is forgiven. Germi, appalled at this distorted justice, attacks it with propulsive satire, clawing at sexual double standards, macho hypocrisy, and small town oppression along the way. Seduced and Abandoned tears along like a race car down a steep mountain road, turning and lurching in all directions. Its exhilarating momentum escalates into an outright horror film, with all of Italian society as the monster. The ferocity of Germi's characters and the savage ending are almost unbearable; the movie, though almost 50 years old, can still inspire outrage. Accompanied by a few sparkling extras, including a brief interview from 2002 with Sandrelli, still one of the loveliest women in cinema. --Bret Fetzer
- "Commedia all'Italiana: Germi Style" featurette
- Interviews with actors Stefania Sandrelli and Lando Buzzanca
- Stefania Sandrelli screen test
- Booklet with essay by film scholar Irene Bignardi
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Top customer reviews
I was so excited to find it again. Either it has become dated, or my taste has changed drastically.
I still enjoyed it, and had a few laughs, but it fizzled a few times, and I found myself frequently checking to see how much more time 'til it was over.
Despite all that, the performances were all right on, and the characters well drawn.
Worth a watch, no matter.