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Wifemistress (1977)

Mogliamante (original title)
Since her husband pronounced her frigid on her wedding night, Antonia DeAngelis has been an invalid. When he disappears, she believes him dead: she leaves her bed and takes over his ... See full summary »


Marco Vicario
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Antonelli ... Antonia De Angelis
Marcello Mastroianni ... Luigi De Angelis
Leonard Mann ... Dr. Dario Favella
William Berger ... Count Brandini
Gastone Moschin ... Vincenzo
Olga Karlatos Olga Karlatos ... Dr. Paola Pagano
Stefano Patrizi ... Enrico, Clara's fiancé
Luigi Diberti ... Lawyer
Enzo Robutti ... Priest
Daniele Gabbai Daniele Gabbai ... Young official
Hélène Chanel ... Landlady (as Helen Stoliaroff)
Paul Muller ... Hotel concierge
Attilio Dottesio
Armando Brancia ... Head Doctor
Elsa Vazzoler Elsa Vazzoler ... Teresa, the maid


Since her husband pronounced her frigid on her wedding night, Antonia DeAngelis has been an invalid. When he disappears, she believes him dead: she leaves her bed and takes over his business, traveling to see clients. She discovers her husband's passions, his political writing, mistresses, and his indifference to the peasants on her family's land. She improves their lot, begins an affair with a young foreign doctor, and publishes her husband's writings. All this time, he's hiding from a murder charge in a house across the square. Amazed, he watches her become his sexual and social equal. After the police drop the murder charge, will he disappear, end his life, or rejoin her on new terms? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of Antonia, who uncovered her husband's secret lives, one by one...and then began to live them herself. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 October 1977 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Wifemistress See more »

Filming Locations:

Cison de valmarino

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vides Cinematografica See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in The Fisher King (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Truly a splendid period drama
26 December 2014 | by peterosenauSee all my reviews

After „Divina Creatura" (1975) and „L'Innocente" (1976), 1977's „Mogliamante" was Laura Antonelli's next step in the world of auteur cinema. Perhaps even her best performance, although the movie is – unfortunately - kind of obscure.

A small town in the Veneto, the winter of 1912: Traveling wine merchant Luigi de Angelis (Marcello Mastroianni) is witness to the murder of a business associate. Although innocent, he realizes he would be the prime suspect and therefore decides to fake his own death. But from his new hideout, he can see directly into the rooms of his home. He sees his wife Antonia, a rich heiress. Their dysfunctional marriage has tormented the beautiful woman for years, has even confined her to bed due to delusional illnesses. When she hears about Luigis death, she seizes her chance to break out of the cage. She follows Luigis itinerary and discovers all he had hidden from her for years. His works, his ways, his hobbies, his vices. And she learns all what was kept from her – love, sexuality, self-awareness. Luigi has to silently witness the awakening of his wife, mirroring his former life, and the more she blossoms, the more he suffers...

This is an outstanding movie in every respect. Most praise must go to the finely balanced, sensitive screenplay. The circumstances around Luigi's suspicion of murder and his injury are a little bit too constructed, but this is just a small nit given the unique and fascinating premise that unfolds. Everything that Antonia does is seen by Luigi (or is reported to him). And the more of his secrets she uncovers, the more is he embarrassed. At some point Antonia realizes that her husband is very alive and watching her, and from then, she will hurt him by living out his vices directly under his eyes. The scenes when Antonia is watching over to Luigis hideout, knowing he's there in the dark, are breathtaking. While the empathy of the viewer is clearly with Antonia, the screenplay carefully manages to shed a different light on the (initially cruel and self-righteous) Luigi. This is just excellent, and you will wonder where and how far this will go for the two. The story is also very complex, not just covering the awakening of Antonia, but providing sub-plots and multi-layered social criticism as well.

The beautiful landscape of the Veneto in winter adds a lot of atmosphere, be it the town square, the vineyards, the pompous villas and residences, or just the romantic mill in a valley. The wonderful score even tops that, with an incredibly charming, bittersweet main theme that will reappear frequently. Highly memorable.

Marcello Mastroianni is excellent as always and it is also thanks to his personality that in the end you can feel sorry for Luigi, knowing what he has done (and has not done). But it is the performance of Laura Antonelli what makes the movie so special. Her Antonia evolves from a allegedly frigid, mistreated hypochondriac, into a self-confident, strong woman. Step by step, subtle nuances. This is fascinating to watch, and is played perfectly by Laura in all her outstanding beauty, sensibility and fragility, leaving the old „sexy comedy" clichés way behind her.

Overall, this is an accessible „arthouse" period drama with erotic touches, full of emotions, tragedy, tears, but also dreams, fullfilment, hope. A feel-good-movie with an unique storyline and outstanding actors, marvellous to behold and to listen to. A shame it's comparably unknown in both Antonelli's and Mastroianni's filmographies.

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