Divorce--Italian Style


1h 48m 1962

Brief Synopsis

A Sicilian nobleman plots to dump his wife for a younger woman--even if it means murder.

Film Details

Also Known As
Divorzio all'italiano
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Sep 1962
Production Company
Galatea; Lux Film; Vides
Distribution Company
Embassy Pictures
Country
Italy
Location
Sicily, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Ferdinando Cefalù, an impoverished Sicilian nobleman, returns home to his once elegant family mansion. Bored to frustration by his nagging wife, Rosalia, he falls in love with his 16-year-old cousin, Angela. Since divorce is impossible under Italian law, he resigns himself to imagining different ways of doing away with his plump, mustached wife. An encounter with Angela in the garden further inflames his desire, but Angela's father disapproves of the situation and sends her away to a convent. One day Ferdinando discovers another law by which a person who commits murder in defense of his honor is subject to only a light jail sentence. Ferdinando asks Carmelo Patanè, an obscure painter and a former beau of Rosalia, to restore some frescoes in the Cefalù house in order to bring him into contact with her. Although Carmelo is timid and wary, a romance appears to be developing, but Ferdinando's plan collapses when the couple run off together, disgracing Ferdinando beyond his own expectations. He has no choice but to find the lovers and redeem his honor. Meanwhile, Carmelo's abandoned wife has learned of the affair, and she also tracks them down and kills her husband, while Ferdinando permanently disposes of the troublesome Rosalia. Ferdinando happily receives an 18-month prison sentence, after which he quickly returns home to marry Angela. Making love on their honeymoon cruise, he is unaware that Angela is secretly planning a romance with the handsome young sailor at the helm.

Film Details

Also Known As
Divorzio all'italiano
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Sep 1962
Production Company
Galatea; Lux Film; Vides
Distribution Company
Embassy Pictures
Country
Italy
Location
Sicily, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Wins

Best Writing, Screenplay

1963
Ennio Deconcini

Best Writing, Screenplay

1963
Pietro Germi

Best Writing, Screenplay

1963
Alfredo Giannetti

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1962
Marcello Mastroianni

Best Director

1962
Pietro Germi

Articles

Divorce, Italian Style


One doesn't usually expect a film about infidelity, divorce and murder to be a comedy but that's one reason Divorce, Italian Style, directed by Pietro Germi, became an unexpected international hit in 1962. A caustic satire about the Italian male - or more specifically, Sicily's male dominated culture - the film also poked fun at Italy's hypocritical judicial system which can forgive crimes of passion but not legally recognize divorce as a solution for failed marriages. Another factor in the movie's success was Marcello Mastroianni's beautifully rendered portrayal of the preening, self-absorbed protagonist, a performance which not only won him an Oscar®: nomination for Best Actor (the first time in Academy Award history that the lead in a foreign language film received that honor) but still ranks as one of the actor's key films, following closely on the heels of Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) and Antonioni's La Notte (1961).

Initially Pietro Germi intended to direct Divorce, Italian Style as a serious drama but soon admitted, "the deeper we got into the subject, though, we simply couldn't ignore the grotesquely comic aspects to the so-called crime of honor." (from Marcello Mastroianni: His Life and Art by Donald Dewey). Indeed, it would be difficult to take the plot seriously: Ferdinando, a Sicilian nobleman (Mastroianni), becomes infatuated with his sixteen-year-old cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli) and vows to marry her but there's an obstacle - his wife Rosalia (Daniela Rocca). Since the Vatican doesn't condone divorce, Ferdinando comes up with an alternate plan of action - manipulate his wife into an affair with her former admirer, Carmelo (Leopoldo Trieste), catch them in a compromising situation and kill her on the spot - reasoning that a crime of passion killing will only earn him a light prison sentence.

It's interesting to note that Mastroianni was not a shoo-in for the role of Ferdinando, despite his highly regarded reputation among Italian directors at that time. According to the actor in Marcello Mastroianni: The Fun of Cinema by Matilde Hochkofler (Gremese), "Germi's image of me as an actor was strictly limited to my image in La Dolce Vita and perhaps he also felt I belonged to the same social class. He was a reserved man, almost rude, a misanthrope who seemed almost to despise anyone who had anything to do with the frivolous world of cinema...When for various reasons, a long list of actors turned down the offer of the film, and in addition, according to the usual laws of cinema, they needed a big-name actor, a box-office success, he followed up a suggestion of one of the film's production organizers who had mentioned my name. I brought him some photographs, some images that had been produced while I was making Phantoms of Rome. I had my hair curled, then straightened, moustaches applied, and so on. In other words, I did the kind of audition you do when you're first starting out in cinema. When he had seen the photographs, and the audition, he changed his mind and I went ahead with the film..."

In creating his character, Mastroianni employed certain mannerisms and gestures from his own observation of Sicilian men as well as copying personal tics from those around him like Germi who often made an odd sucking/clicking sound with his mouth due to gum problems. In terms of Ferdinando's sometimes rigid posture and movements, Mastroianni "had in mind [Mario] Monicelli's instructions to Tiberio Murgia from The Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), when he used to say, 'Be haughty, Murgia, be haughty." But while Mastroianni was intensely focused on his performance, his co-star Daniela Rocca was having great difficulty playing her part. Rumored to be having a secret affair with Germi at the time of shooting, Rocca would often show signs of emotional duress on the set. According to Rocca's co-star Stefania Sandrelli (in Matilde Hochkofler's biography of Marcello),"She had won all these beauty contests and was being compared to Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. It was very important for her to be beautiful and admired, and she would go into hysterics whenever she had to put on her wig and the other things that made her ugly." The seriousness of Rocca's condition became apparent one day while filming a scene in which the baron's family is having dinner. Mastroianni recalled, "Suddenly, without my having said or done anything and without any warning from her, suddenly she gives me a whack in the face that almost took my head off. I was stunned. Then, just as I was getting my bile back up and was about to say, "You idiot! What the hell's wrong with you?," I saw something in her face that made me stop. From that moment on, I don't think I or anyone else in the troupe could think of her as just another working colleague." A few days after this incident, Rocca slashed her wrists in an apparent suicide attempt. Luckily, she recovered and eventually completed the film though she would retire from the screen in 1967.

In general, critics were unanimous in their praise of Divorce, Italian Style during its initial release and singled out Mastroianni, in particular. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote "Not since Charlie Chaplin's beguiling Verdoux have we seen a deliberate wife killer so elegant and suave, so condescending in his boredom, so thoroughly and pathetically enmeshed in the suffocating toils of a woman as Mr. Mastroianni is here. His eyelids droop with a haughtiness and ennui that are only dispelled when he looks with a gaze of lecherous longing at his teenage cousin."

Giancarlo Giannini, the star of Lina Wertmuller's Swept Away (1974) and other films for the director, once admitted that he modeled many of his Sicilian characters on Mastroianni's performance in Divorce, Italian Style. In addition to Mastroianni's Best Actor Oscar® nomination for Germi's film, he also won the Best Foreign Actor award in England (the BAFTA film award) and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor in a musical/comedy. Divorce, Italian Style also received two additional Oscar® nominations for Best Director and for Best Original Screenplay (by Ennio De Concini, Alfredo Giannetti and Pietro Germi); it won in the latter category.

Producer: Franco Cristaldi
Director: Pietro Germi
Screenplay: Pietro Germi, Ennio de Concini, Alfredo Giannetti, Agenore Incrocci
Cinematography: Leonida Barboni, Carlo Di Palma
Film Editing: Roberto Cinquini
Art Direction: Carlo Egidi
Music: Carlo Rustichelli
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni (Ferdinando), Daniela Rocca (Rosalia), Stefania Sandrelli (Angela), Leopoldo Trieste (Carmelo Patane), Odoardo Spadaro (Don Gaetano), Margherita Girelli (Sisina).
BW-101m. Letterboxed.

by Jeff Stafford
Divorce, Italian Style

Divorce, Italian Style

One doesn't usually expect a film about infidelity, divorce and murder to be a comedy but that's one reason Divorce, Italian Style, directed by Pietro Germi, became an unexpected international hit in 1962. A caustic satire about the Italian male - or more specifically, Sicily's male dominated culture - the film also poked fun at Italy's hypocritical judicial system which can forgive crimes of passion but not legally recognize divorce as a solution for failed marriages. Another factor in the movie's success was Marcello Mastroianni's beautifully rendered portrayal of the preening, self-absorbed protagonist, a performance which not only won him an Oscar®: nomination for Best Actor (the first time in Academy Award history that the lead in a foreign language film received that honor) but still ranks as one of the actor's key films, following closely on the heels of Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) and Antonioni's La Notte (1961). Initially Pietro Germi intended to direct Divorce, Italian Style as a serious drama but soon admitted, "the deeper we got into the subject, though, we simply couldn't ignore the grotesquely comic aspects to the so-called crime of honor." (from Marcello Mastroianni: His Life and Art by Donald Dewey). Indeed, it would be difficult to take the plot seriously: Ferdinando, a Sicilian nobleman (Mastroianni), becomes infatuated with his sixteen-year-old cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli) and vows to marry her but there's an obstacle - his wife Rosalia (Daniela Rocca). Since the Vatican doesn't condone divorce, Ferdinando comes up with an alternate plan of action - manipulate his wife into an affair with her former admirer, Carmelo (Leopoldo Trieste), catch them in a compromising situation and kill her on the spot - reasoning that a crime of passion killing will only earn him a light prison sentence. It's interesting to note that Mastroianni was not a shoo-in for the role of Ferdinando, despite his highly regarded reputation among Italian directors at that time. According to the actor in Marcello Mastroianni: The Fun of Cinema by Matilde Hochkofler (Gremese), "Germi's image of me as an actor was strictly limited to my image in La Dolce Vita and perhaps he also felt I belonged to the same social class. He was a reserved man, almost rude, a misanthrope who seemed almost to despise anyone who had anything to do with the frivolous world of cinema...When for various reasons, a long list of actors turned down the offer of the film, and in addition, according to the usual laws of cinema, they needed a big-name actor, a box-office success, he followed up a suggestion of one of the film's production organizers who had mentioned my name. I brought him some photographs, some images that had been produced while I was making Phantoms of Rome. I had my hair curled, then straightened, moustaches applied, and so on. In other words, I did the kind of audition you do when you're first starting out in cinema. When he had seen the photographs, and the audition, he changed his mind and I went ahead with the film..." In creating his character, Mastroianni employed certain mannerisms and gestures from his own observation of Sicilian men as well as copying personal tics from those around him like Germi who often made an odd sucking/clicking sound with his mouth due to gum problems. In terms of Ferdinando's sometimes rigid posture and movements, Mastroianni "had in mind [Mario] Monicelli's instructions to Tiberio Murgia from The Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), when he used to say, 'Be haughty, Murgia, be haughty." But while Mastroianni was intensely focused on his performance, his co-star Daniela Rocca was having great difficulty playing her part. Rumored to be having a secret affair with Germi at the time of shooting, Rocca would often show signs of emotional duress on the set. According to Rocca's co-star Stefania Sandrelli (in Matilde Hochkofler's biography of Marcello),"She had won all these beauty contests and was being compared to Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. It was very important for her to be beautiful and admired, and she would go into hysterics whenever she had to put on her wig and the other things that made her ugly." The seriousness of Rocca's condition became apparent one day while filming a scene in which the baron's family is having dinner. Mastroianni recalled, "Suddenly, without my having said or done anything and without any warning from her, suddenly she gives me a whack in the face that almost took my head off. I was stunned. Then, just as I was getting my bile back up and was about to say, "You idiot! What the hell's wrong with you?," I saw something in her face that made me stop. From that moment on, I don't think I or anyone else in the troupe could think of her as just another working colleague." A few days after this incident, Rocca slashed her wrists in an apparent suicide attempt. Luckily, she recovered and eventually completed the film though she would retire from the screen in 1967. In general, critics were unanimous in their praise of Divorce, Italian Style during its initial release and singled out Mastroianni, in particular. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote "Not since Charlie Chaplin's beguiling Verdoux have we seen a deliberate wife killer so elegant and suave, so condescending in his boredom, so thoroughly and pathetically enmeshed in the suffocating toils of a woman as Mr. Mastroianni is here. His eyelids droop with a haughtiness and ennui that are only dispelled when he looks with a gaze of lecherous longing at his teenage cousin." Giancarlo Giannini, the star of Lina Wertmuller's Swept Away (1974) and other films for the director, once admitted that he modeled many of his Sicilian characters on Mastroianni's performance in Divorce, Italian Style. In addition to Mastroianni's Best Actor Oscar® nomination for Germi's film, he also won the Best Foreign Actor award in England (the BAFTA film award) and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor in a musical/comedy. Divorce, Italian Style also received two additional Oscar® nominations for Best Director and for Best Original Screenplay (by Ennio De Concini, Alfredo Giannetti and Pietro Germi); it won in the latter category. Producer: Franco Cristaldi Director: Pietro Germi Screenplay: Pietro Germi, Ennio de Concini, Alfredo Giannetti, Agenore Incrocci Cinematography: Leonida Barboni, Carlo Di Palma Film Editing: Roberto Cinquini Art Direction: Carlo Egidi Music: Carlo Rustichelli Cast: Marcello Mastroianni (Ferdinando), Daniela Rocca (Rosalia), Stefania Sandrelli (Angela), Leopoldo Trieste (Carmelo Patane), Odoardo Spadaro (Don Gaetano), Margherita Girelli (Sisina). BW-101m. Letterboxed. by Jeff Stafford

Divorce - Italian Style - Divorce-Italian Style on DVD


No wonder Billy Wilder called Pietro Germi "the Italian Billy Wilder." Germi's 1961 comedy of manners Divorce Italian Style has a playful sense of masquerade and a deeper streak of social commentary worthy of Wilder's contemporaneous Some Like it Hot and One, Two, Three. A worldwide hit and a rare foreign-language winner of a Best Screenplay Oscar®, this dry-as-its-Sicilian-setting comedy stars Marcello Mastroianni as a downwardly mobile Baron with a loyal albeit hirsute wife Rosalia (Daniela Rocca) he longs to replace with dishy 16-year-old cousin Angela (the ever-dishy Stefania Sandrelli).

This is a comedy where much of the humor comes from the discrepancy between the surface and the reality underneath it. The Baron, his parents and his sister may live in an "estate," but their dire financial state has forced them to begrudgingly rent out half the place to relatives (Angela and her parents). Similarly, their town may be filled with two dozen churches, but sex and gossip are all that's on anybody's minds. And, most of all, while the Baron's slick-backed hair, neatly-trimmed moustache and tilted cigarette holder let him present a picture of confident virility to the outside world, he's really a man of desperate frustration. He pines for nubile Angela, but what's a married man in on-divorce Italy and a pillar of society to do? Fantasize, evidently. In some of the movie's biggest laughs, he pictures his wife's demise. When the women of the house make soup, he imagines stabbing her and dumping her into the cauldron. During a trip to the beach, he imagines his wife slowly slipping into quicksand. Later, when the local newspaper reports a successful rocket launch, he imagines his wife being propelled into outer space. To the moon, Rosalia!

In contrast to the deadpan tone of the real action, Germi gives these fantasy sequences a feverish mood that reflects the Baron's inner state. The Baron thinks he finds the answer to his problems when he learns of a "crime of passion" trial in a neighboring city, where a woman is being dramatically defended for shooting her unfaithful husband. He finds the special law that dictates leniency for those who murder cheating spouses caught in the act, and also discovers Rosalia has a secret admirer (Leopoldo Trieste), an old flame who's returned to town. The secret admirer is a painter who specializes in restoring frescos, so the Baron hires him to work in the estate, buys a tape recorder to eavesdrop on him and Rosalia and waits for them to fall to temptation. Then he can brandish his gun, serve a few easy years in prison and live happily ever after with Angela.

Easier said than done. Although Divorce Italian Style drags a bit during this watch-and-wait portion of the story, the action really picks up when Rosalia and her old flame throw the Baron a curve (in a bizarre yet very effective touch, the arrival of Fellini's scandalous La Dolce Vita - which, of course, starred Mastroianni¿plays a big role in the twist). The situation that the Baron thought was under his control suddenly is not, and soon he's the shame of the city. The Italian/Sicilian manner of blaming the dishonored and the custom of the taunting anonymous letter turn hilarious here, as does the tragic fallout of Angela mistakenly putting a love letter to the Baron in an envelope sent to her parents from convent school. "I might as well have had the plague," says the Baron of his now-low status around town. Despite another twist involving the secret admirer's wife, the Baron finds a way to bend the situation to his favor. Or a least he thinks he does. Divorce Italian Style ends in one of the great closing gags in movie history, which shows us otherwise.

A few things make Divorce Italian Style much more amusing than the creep-who-wants-to-kill-his-wife tale it might have been. One is our ability to sense that the Baron, who narrates the story, is not quite as capable as he himself thinks. Another is Sandrelli. You look at her blooming beauty, and accept the Baron's crush in a flash, much as you immediately understand any double-crosses Robert Mitchum pulls in Out of the Past the moment you see Jane Greer. (Sandrelli and Germi would soon reteam for Seduced and Abandoned, and the still-active actress's long list of credits includes such standouts as The Conformist and I Knew Her Well). Of course, Germi also choreographs everything in Divorce Italian Style to precise comic effect, much as Preston Sturges did in the similar Unfaithfully Yours, giving characters and setting just enough of a grotesque twist to be funny, without grinding an elbow into your ribs.

Actually, we learn in the bonus materials that Divorce Italian Style was conceived of as drama, not comedy, and are reminded that it was a big switch for Germi, who'd previously made only dramas until his co-writers persuaded him to tilt the story towards comedy. Despite the typical care taken in picture quality and the DVD booklet, though, this is a rare instance where you can make a case that a Criterion Collection 2-disc release has been padded. With only the 104-minute movie on disc one, you have to wonder whether the extras couldn't have fit on that disc, too, especially since the longest extra, the 40-minute documentary about Germi, the rather shapeless The Man with a Cigar in His Mouth, isn't very effective for an American viewer, as it contains no clips and few plot details for any of Germi's movies - just talking heads and still photos. Unfortunately, Divorce Italian Style is the first and only Germi movie available on DVD in the U.S. (NoShame releases the earlier drama The Railroad Man in June). Though some of us have seen the comedies Germi made just after it (Seduced and The Birds, The Bees and the Italians), very, very few have seen any others. A documentary overview is welcome, but The Man is not the right one.

Better is the more shorter, more focused Delighting in Contrasts, in which Sandrelli, Lando Buzzanca (who played the Baron's sexually-frustrated brother-in-law-to-be) and Mario Sesti (the critic-filmmaker responsible for The Man) separately talk about Germi and the making of Divorce Italian Style. It gets across the director's idiosyncrasies as much as The Man, but with more purpose. The same goes for the stand-alone interview with co-writer Ennio De Concini. Screen tests of Sandrelli and Rocca also offer the opportunity to see the actresses perform opposite sometime actor Germi (for sure in the first case, and most likely in the second).

For more information about Divorce Italian Style, visit the Criterion Collection. To order Divorce-Italian Style, go to TCM Shopping.

by Paul Sherman

Divorce - Italian Style - Divorce-Italian Style on DVD

No wonder Billy Wilder called Pietro Germi "the Italian Billy Wilder." Germi's 1961 comedy of manners Divorce Italian Style has a playful sense of masquerade and a deeper streak of social commentary worthy of Wilder's contemporaneous Some Like it Hot and One, Two, Three. A worldwide hit and a rare foreign-language winner of a Best Screenplay Oscar®, this dry-as-its-Sicilian-setting comedy stars Marcello Mastroianni as a downwardly mobile Baron with a loyal albeit hirsute wife Rosalia (Daniela Rocca) he longs to replace with dishy 16-year-old cousin Angela (the ever-dishy Stefania Sandrelli). This is a comedy where much of the humor comes from the discrepancy between the surface and the reality underneath it. The Baron, his parents and his sister may live in an "estate," but their dire financial state has forced them to begrudgingly rent out half the place to relatives (Angela and her parents). Similarly, their town may be filled with two dozen churches, but sex and gossip are all that's on anybody's minds. And, most of all, while the Baron's slick-backed hair, neatly-trimmed moustache and tilted cigarette holder let him present a picture of confident virility to the outside world, he's really a man of desperate frustration. He pines for nubile Angela, but what's a married man in on-divorce Italy and a pillar of society to do? Fantasize, evidently. In some of the movie's biggest laughs, he pictures his wife's demise. When the women of the house make soup, he imagines stabbing her and dumping her into the cauldron. During a trip to the beach, he imagines his wife slowly slipping into quicksand. Later, when the local newspaper reports a successful rocket launch, he imagines his wife being propelled into outer space. To the moon, Rosalia! In contrast to the deadpan tone of the real action, Germi gives these fantasy sequences a feverish mood that reflects the Baron's inner state. The Baron thinks he finds the answer to his problems when he learns of a "crime of passion" trial in a neighboring city, where a woman is being dramatically defended for shooting her unfaithful husband. He finds the special law that dictates leniency for those who murder cheating spouses caught in the act, and also discovers Rosalia has a secret admirer (Leopoldo Trieste), an old flame who's returned to town. The secret admirer is a painter who specializes in restoring frescos, so the Baron hires him to work in the estate, buys a tape recorder to eavesdrop on him and Rosalia and waits for them to fall to temptation. Then he can brandish his gun, serve a few easy years in prison and live happily ever after with Angela. Easier said than done. Although Divorce Italian Style drags a bit during this watch-and-wait portion of the story, the action really picks up when Rosalia and her old flame throw the Baron a curve (in a bizarre yet very effective touch, the arrival of Fellini's scandalous La Dolce Vita - which, of course, starred Mastroianni¿plays a big role in the twist). The situation that the Baron thought was under his control suddenly is not, and soon he's the shame of the city. The Italian/Sicilian manner of blaming the dishonored and the custom of the taunting anonymous letter turn hilarious here, as does the tragic fallout of Angela mistakenly putting a love letter to the Baron in an envelope sent to her parents from convent school. "I might as well have had the plague," says the Baron of his now-low status around town. Despite another twist involving the secret admirer's wife, the Baron finds a way to bend the situation to his favor. Or a least he thinks he does. Divorce Italian Style ends in one of the great closing gags in movie history, which shows us otherwise. A few things make Divorce Italian Style much more amusing than the creep-who-wants-to-kill-his-wife tale it might have been. One is our ability to sense that the Baron, who narrates the story, is not quite as capable as he himself thinks. Another is Sandrelli. You look at her blooming beauty, and accept the Baron's crush in a flash, much as you immediately understand any double-crosses Robert Mitchum pulls in Out of the Past the moment you see Jane Greer. (Sandrelli and Germi would soon reteam for Seduced and Abandoned, and the still-active actress's long list of credits includes such standouts as The Conformist and I Knew Her Well). Of course, Germi also choreographs everything in Divorce Italian Style to precise comic effect, much as Preston Sturges did in the similar Unfaithfully Yours, giving characters and setting just enough of a grotesque twist to be funny, without grinding an elbow into your ribs. Actually, we learn in the bonus materials that Divorce Italian Style was conceived of as drama, not comedy, and are reminded that it was a big switch for Germi, who'd previously made only dramas until his co-writers persuaded him to tilt the story towards comedy. Despite the typical care taken in picture quality and the DVD booklet, though, this is a rare instance where you can make a case that a Criterion Collection 2-disc release has been padded. With only the 104-minute movie on disc one, you have to wonder whether the extras couldn't have fit on that disc, too, especially since the longest extra, the 40-minute documentary about Germi, the rather shapeless The Man with a Cigar in His Mouth, isn't very effective for an American viewer, as it contains no clips and few plot details for any of Germi's movies - just talking heads and still photos. Unfortunately, Divorce Italian Style is the first and only Germi movie available on DVD in the U.S. (NoShame releases the earlier drama The Railroad Man in June). Though some of us have seen the comedies Germi made just after it (Seduced and The Birds, The Bees and the Italians), very, very few have seen any others. A documentary overview is welcome, but The Man is not the right one. Better is the more shorter, more focused Delighting in Contrasts, in which Sandrelli, Lando Buzzanca (who played the Baron's sexually-frustrated brother-in-law-to-be) and Mario Sesti (the critic-filmmaker responsible for The Man) separately talk about Germi and the making of Divorce Italian Style. It gets across the director's idiosyncrasies as much as The Man, but with more purpose. The same goes for the stand-alone interview with co-writer Ennio De Concini. Screen tests of Sandrelli and Rocca also offer the opportunity to see the actresses perform opposite sometime actor Germi (for sure in the first case, and most likely in the second). For more information about Divorce Italian Style, visit the Criterion Collection. To order Divorce-Italian Style, go to TCM Shopping. by Paul Sherman

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Sicily. Opened in Rome in December 1961 as Divorzio all'italiano; running time: 108 min. Carlo Di Palma's participation is unconfirmed.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted One of the Year's Five Best Foreign Language Films by the 1962 National Board of Review.

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1961 New York Times Film Critics.

Released in United States August 15, 1990

Released in United States Fall September 17, 1962

Re-released in United States November 9, 2007

Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 15, 1990.

Restored print released in New York City (Film Forum) November 9-22, 2007.

The participation of cameraman Carlo DiPalma is not confirmed.

Released in United States August 15, 1990 (Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 15, 1990.)

Released in United States Fall September 17, 1962

Re-released in United States November 9, 2007 (Film Forum; New York City)