Cast & Crew
Returning to her family because of her industrialist father's illness, Isabella finds plans in progress for a party. Carlo, her weak brother, explains that the scheduled party will go on to appease their father's vanity, though he will not make an appearance at the affair. The man's wife, obsessed by her jealousy, gains admittance to the sickroom and is rebuffed by her husband, then rushes through the house questioning servants about a suspected mistress. Isabella, too, is rebuffed by her father when she attempts a reconciliation. When he collapses while trying to watch the party from his window, Isabella becomes hysterical. The next day the father is hospitalized, and Mario, a bartender hired for the party who had hoped to gain a position in business through the contact, goes to Milan, his ambitions dashed. While watching people entering a fashionable party, Mario meets Bruno, a boyhood friend. Impressed by Bruno's apparent wealth, Mario asks him to help his mother, who is ill in a hospital charity ward. Bruno, laughing, refuses, and Mario strikes him. Meanwhile, at the party, Andrea, whose marriage to Mali is on the rocks, tries to patch things up by seducing her in the bedroom of their host, Tom. The following day, upset because his "mistress" has left him, Tom begs Andrea and Mali to keep him company. Mali prefers Tom to Andrea, which causes Andrea to attack Tom's housemaid. Mali leaves in disgust. When Tom later asks Andrea to go because his mistress is returning, Andrea stays out of curiosity and discovers that the mistress is Bruno. Visiting his mother at the hospital, Mario talks about their situation and is overheard by a priest, who offers his help. Going to the priest's house, Mario is astonished at the behavior of the people there, and that night he discovers a wild party taking place in the attic attended by prostitutes, transvestites, and pickpockets. When he warns the priest that his charity cases are using his house as a place of assignation, the priest confesses that he has been defrocked. Mario angrily accuses him of practicing false charity. Later, Mario's mother receives a large amount of money, which will allow them to live together comfortably, from an unknown benefactor. Going to thank the priest, Mario discovers a wrecking crew at work on the priest's house. The priest has effected his own salvation by truly helping another person.
Rome opening: March 1962 as Il disordine; running times: 105 and 97 min; Paris opening: March 1963 as Le désordre; running time: 98 min.