Dante must sell books on the legends related to the noble families of Emilia-Romagna to the descendants of the families themselves. When he arrives to the castle Zanotti, he learns that the... See full summary »
Carlo Delle Piane
A seminary student, Giacomo Vigetti, is convicted by the Papal State of seducing a young girl. He is forced to flee and takes refuge with an excommunicated priest. Unfortunately, the priest... See full summary »
The United States of America, after the great success of Vietnam, Watergate and so on, have decided to expand their activities in Italy. Mr. Chips has chosen Eddie Mordace to open the ... See full summary »
Christian De Sica
A fig tree located in the lands of a baron of the lower Padana has for many centuries been the subject of veneration. The baron, crippled and atheist, one day sees a girl lying on the fig ... See full summary »
In 1943, during the war, Francesca, widowed, moves with her three daughters to her country house, to get away from the bombing of Bologna. In the villa she finds her childhood friends and her old love Guido, who has not forgotten her.
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A woman and her ten-year-old son deal, in their own way, with the death of the husband/father, who died at the factory where he worked, while all around them the anticipation and ... See full summary »
I’d never heard of this film before I happened upon it at my local DVD rental outlet; being an admirer of some of Avati’s vintage work, I decided to check it out. The premise sounded promising enough – in 18th century Italy, a family of five (an old man and his four sons, the siblings having had no contact with a woman) living in a secluded valley have their peaceful existence disrupted by the arrival of a young girl who gets stranded on her way to the house of a noble family in their vicinity – but the film is, perhaps, too low-key for its own good; it is also slow, uneventful and rather overlong (105 minutes) for such a thin thread of plot.
That said, Avati’s fable-like tale – recounted by the local mouse-catcher to a girl who happens to be the spitting image of the leading lady (both of whom sing the title tune)! – is aided by a wistful and evocative score, and is also pictorially quite pleasing. The narrative takes the form of a series of agreeable vignettes – among them the legend of an old woman’s Golden Leg (coveted by her daughters, they were eventually trapped in the walls of the house, and to whom the members of the current family often call!) and another involving the mad Count of the estate where the girl was headed who took out to sea in a canoe but refused to step down onto dry land when he got back (with the result that food has to be laboriously carried out to him in order to survive…but which the central family often takes to pilfering for themselves!).
The siblings, who had been a rowdy and inseparable bunch, now all take their turn to awkwardly romance the leading lady (an amusing bit is when the youngest, who had been saddled with the housework because he was told his parents were expecting a girl, is relieved to discover that his private parts differ from those of a real female!). In fact, all the young men had their own areas of interest – the eldest was strong and a bit gruff, but also something of an exhibitionist; the second reveals himself as the most pragmatic and industrious of the lot (being also a painter); the third, then, was feeble in strength but learned (taught by a man who, he said, came out of the river one day and presented him with a bible!) and a bit of an idealist.
Practically the entire family falls for the charms of the beautiful girl (she, too, takes to them relatively easily – given the dubious reputation of her destined lodgings), but don’t expect to find here any vulgarities as were prevalent in contemporaneous low-brow Italian comedies. The situation resolves itself in a semi-surreal collective wedding, followed by an ambiguous ending – the girl seems to have been the answer to the young men’s prayers all along (we first see them shouting at the heavens to ask about their marriage prospects) anticipating the coming of the figure of Death, feared by the old man throughout but which takes all of them!
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