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also known as Matrimonio all'italiana

Marriage Italian Style1964

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  • 4.2
One of the most famous and funniest Italian comedies of all time, MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE received nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress for Sophia Loren at the Academy Awards®. Marcello Mastroianni co-stars as the irrepressibly carnal businessman Domenico, who discovers Loren's Filumena as a young prostitute and keeps her as his mistress and confidante. When he chooses to marry a young cashier instead of her, Filumena is furious and resorts to a series of wild and hilarious ruses to win back his hand. Directed by the great Vittorio De Sica (THE BICYCLE THIEF), MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE is a timelessly bawdy classic.

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"...affords Loren an opportunity to transcend her sexpot image with a bravura demonstration of shifting moods, looks, and accumulated maturity." - Dennis Harvey, Keyframe

1 member likes this review

As a movie, a wonderful classic Italian film. Enjoyed while listening Italian, a language I learned and don't want to loose.

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Member Reviews (7)

As a movie, a wonderful classic Italian film. Enjoyed while listening Italian, a language I learned and don't want to loose.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Vittorio De Sica's Marriage Italian Style (1964) is really a great film. It's one of the very best, in my opinion.

It is too simplistic just to mindlessly pigeonhole this fine film as a "comedy", or even as a "romantic comedy". This film, although it does seem to begin as a comedy, smoothly transitions into a compelling drama. Overall, this film transcends simple taxonomic categories because, in many ways, it successfully portrays the subtle manifold complexities of life, which defies simple categorization itself.

This film has no "deep meaning", or abstract symbolisms. It is just a a fine example of compelling cinematic storytelling. And what a story it tells. It is a story of a beautiful young woman from an impoverished background who finds herself selling her own body just for economic survival. It is the story of a prostitute who actually falls in love with one of her wealthy clients, a client who superficially seems to be in love with her too, but who really can never consider her more than a human"object", bought and paid for, a human "object" who is not socially suitable for marriage because of her background. It is a story of two people finally marrying, being able to transcend the difference of social status and social ranking that has long separated them. It is a story of a mother who never abandoned her children, although circumstances conspired to keep her physically and socially distant from them for many years. It is a story of three brothers who grew up never knowing each other, finally uniting with each other, and the mother that they never knew. In short, the story told in this film is not a simple one, indeed. It is a panoramic portrayal of human life of epic proportions. This is a very detailed, and nuanced portrayal too, exposing the passions, the spirit, the foibles, the sincerities, the vanities, and the glories of human existence. Yet, for all of that, this fine filmmaker, was able, at the same time, to simply tell a very interesting and very entertaining story too.

There are those today who might complain that this film is not "politically correct" because it portrays a woman who spends her life enduring the sexual exploitation, and the social domination of an indifferent and powerful man. Although this may be true, it is for this very reason that I feel that this is an important film to view even decades after it's release. That is because it is, in some ways, an historical record of the social norms, and the social attitudes of Italian society circa the 1960's, and to a certain extent accurately portrays the norms and attitudes about gender relations prevalent throughout Western Culture at that time. It is also an important film to view today because in the nuanced and extended transitional interaction between the main characters, we can see much of the man-woman relationship that is still prevalent, and still relevant today. For instance, this film believably portrays a twenty two year relationship between a couple that spans the spectrum from a prostitute-client relationship, to a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, to a live in mistress/business associate-employer relationship, to a wife-husband relationship. Yet, the director succeeds to deliberately, and effectively "blur" the boundaries between the various stages of this long, and extended man-woman relationship. In short, the answer to the question: "When did the woman in this relationship stop being a prostitute?" is not easy to discern. More important is the question: "Did this woman ever effectively stop being this man's prostitute, even after he finally married her?" Given the social and sexual attitudes of the man in this relationship, it is justifiable to argue that this man will always, at some level, consider this woman to be his "whore", even after legitimizing their relationship through the social artifice of marriage. This whole issue brings to light an element of gender relations that is still very relevant today, that, in one way or another, a woman is coerced by society to "sell" her sexuality every day, and even in marriage just to achieve her personal goals in life.

The performances by Mastroianni and Loren in this film were superb, and were enhanced by the palpable chemistry that obviously exists between them. These fine actors both gave nuanced and subtle performances that brought the complex storyline of this film to life in a way that most other actors just are not capable of doing.

Overall, this film really boggles my mind when I try to reconcile how such a deep and expansive portrayal of human life can be, at the same time, just so entertaining, and just so much fun to watch. In that respect, De Sica's production here is very Shakespearean, indeed.

20 Stars !!!

top reviewer

Finally a great movie on Fandor!!

Absolutely brilliant. But, of course, it's De Sica and both Loren and Mastroianni are at their best, as usual, with their accustomed and irrepressible chemistry; however, it's Loren who is not only radiant, but transcendent, even by today's standard of feminism. Her emotional range is astonishing. If ever art approximated life—despite the film's too-easy and reductive categorization of "comedy" or "romantic comedy"—this is it. Not a single genre can identify it accurately. It's all of them, and more.

Excellent, a classic featuring two of the greatest actors of all time. RM

Hadn't seen it since the 60's.. nice seeing it again.. Sophia and Marcello were so great together.

wonderful, wonderful, great, great, is youjr not Italiasn, eat your heart out. Wow