Marriage Italian Style (1964) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The rich man Domenico and Filumena, a penniless prostitute, share great part of their lives in the immediate post WWII Italy.

  • Domenico, a successfull businessman, with an eye for the girls, begins an affair with Filumena when she is 17 years old. She becomes a prostitute, but also becomes the mistress of Domenico. He eventually sets her up in an apartment, and she works for him in his various businesses. She secretly bears three children, who are raised by nannys. Domenico starts planning to marry a young employee. Filumena tricks him into marriage by pretending to be dying. Domenico annuls the marriage. Filumena then tells him of the three children. She says that one of the children belongs to Domenico, but will not say which one is his. You start to believe that all of the children could be his, and Domenico then marries Filumena again, this time willingly.

  • In Naples, in the Second World War, the wolf businessman Domenico Soriano meets the seventeen years old whore Filumena Marturano in a brothel during an allied bombing. Two years later, in the post-war, they meet each other by chance and begin a long affair. For twenty-two years, Filumena is his mistress and administrates his shops in Naples while Domenico is traveling. When Domenico decides to marry the young cashier of his bakery, Filumena lures him as if she were near to death and he marries her. Later he annuls their matrimony, and she tells him that she has three sons that she raised secretly, one of them is his illegitimate son but she does not disclose his identity. The middle-age Domenico uses the most different subterfuges trying to find which teenager might be his son.

  • In Naples, forty year old Filumena Marturano has been rushed home from the bakery where she works being deathly ill. When she requests not a doctor but a priest at this time, fifty year old multiple business owner Domenico Soriano - Dummi' in more familiar settings - who is looking over her, reflects on the twenty-two years they have known each other. Their initial meeting was during the war in a house of ill repute, she a naive and illiterate seventeen year old fresh from the country working there, he a customer, although not hers. It wouldn't be until two years later that they would run into each other again and begin this off and on relationship, in which he would always have the upper hand, manipulating her and the situation to his benefit which he knew he could do because of his relative economic standing compared to hers, and the fact that he knew that she has always been in love with him. The nature of their relationship was also as it was due to his frequent absences for work, often months at a time. This situation allowed him to have other women in his life at the same time. The story then shifts to an aspect of Filumena's life of which Dummi' has been unaware, namely her long term relationships with three men he doesn't know or know of: Umberto, a student, Riccardo, a glove salesman, and Michele, a mechanic, the three who in turn don't know each other. When Dummi' finds out about the existence of the three, he has to decide how it will affect his life and his thoughts of Filumena.

  • Domenico first meets Filumena in a Neapolitan brothel in the Second World War. After the war they become lovers on and off for 22 years. Domenico eventually rents an apartment for Filumena and even lets her run his shop. Finally Filumena asks Domenico to marry her on her deathbed, just before he had planned to marry his young cashier.


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