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The Climax

The Climax(1967)

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Sergio Masini, a concert violinist in an Italian symphony orchestra, is deeply devoted to three separate families. His legal wife of eighteen years, Giulia, bore him a son and two daughters. Then 8 years later, he met Adela, a singer who lost her voice while they were with a touring opera company. Sergio made her his mistress, fathered her two children, and showed her as much consideration as he bestowed upon his wife. Lastly, he was attracted to a young music student, Marisa, who won him over with her simplicity and her need for someone to love. While Marisa is in a clinic awaiting the birth of a child, Sergio wanders into a church and unburdens himself to a priest, describing his efforts to support his three households equally. He maintains three sets of insurance, buys three sets of Christmas presents, honors all birthdays, and, on occasion, even eats three evening meals at three different homes. To make ends meet, he sings in a cabaret during late hours. Upon hearing the story, the startled priest warns Sergio that he cannot continue such a pace and hints that a divorce might be the answer. Shocked, Sergio leaves the church and returns to the clinic where Marisa has given birth to a boy. Seeing how tired Sergio looks, Marisa, who knows about his wife and other mistress, suggests that he take a rest at the seashore with Giulia. But when he goes to telephone her, he suffers a heart attack and dies. Sergio watches his funeral from the hereafter and tries to discern from his wife's face whether she suspected the truth about his other families, but all that Giulia reveals is an enigmatic smile.