Scent of a Woman


1h 43m 1974
Scent of a Woman

Brief Synopsis

An army cadet acts as baby-sitter to a mischievous, blind captain on a week-long trip from Turin to Naples. The angry captain, wants no pity, wreaks havoc in every situation, nicknames the cadet Cuccio ("Babyfat"), and spends the next few days ordering him about, behaving badly in public and making a scene everywhere they go.

Film Details

Also Known As
Parfum de femme, Profumo di donna, Scent of Woman
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Foreign
Adaptation
Release Date
1974
Distribution Company
Curzon Artificial Eye; New Yorker Films
Location
Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

An army cadet acts as baby-sitter to a mischievous, blind captain on a week-long trip from Turin to Naples. The angry captain, wants no pity, wreaks havoc in every situation, nicknames the cadet Cuccio ("Babyfat"), and spends the next few days ordering him about, behaving badly in public and making a scene everywhere they go.

Film Details

Also Known As
Parfum de femme, Profumo di donna, Scent of Woman
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Foreign
Adaptation
Release Date
1974
Distribution Company
Curzon Artificial Eye; New Yorker Films
Location
Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Award Nominations

Best Foreign Language Film

1974

Best Writing, Screenplay

1976
Dino Risi

Articles

Scent of a Woman (1974)


Scent of a Woman (1974) Director Dino Risi’s Profumo Di Donna/Scent of a Woman (1974) comes at the end of a long line of films known as Commedia all’Italiana (Italian Style Comedy). The period between the late 1950s and the mid-1970s saw Italian filmmakers exploring social issues, specifically sex, marriage, divorce, inequality, economic prosperity and religion through the lens of satire with a distinct melancholy tone. Risi helped established this genre alongside his frequent star Vittorio Gassman, known by his nickname Il Mattatore, and eventually became inextricably linked as the master of this filmmaking style.

Scent of a Woman was based on Giovanni Arpino’s novel Il buio e il miele (Darkness and Honey) and told the story of army captain Fausto Consolo (Vittorio Gassman), blinded in a freak accident, who hires Giovanni (Alessandro Momo), a teenager he affectionately refers to as Ciccio/babyfat, to guide him on a weeklong trip from Turin to Rome, Italy. What Ciccio doesn’t know is that Fausto intends this journey to be his last hurrah before committing suicide. The film is dripping with misogyny, ridiculous scenarios and hilariously awkward situations between Fausto and Ciccio. Italian actress Agostina Belli, whose film work was mostly in the 1970s, plays the role of Sara, Fausto’s love interest. Her character’s introduction to the film adds some gravitas and drives the story to its sentimental conclusion.

Gassman’s performance as the irascible blind man with a nose for the ladies helped launch the film as a critical and commercial success. Profumo Di Donna premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975. Gassman won the Award for Best Actor that year and Risi was nominated for Best Director. Upon its success in Europe, 20th Century Fox distributed the film in the US as Scent of a Woman. The film was lavished with many nominations and awards including various Italian Golden Globes, a Cesar in France and a David di Donatello award for Best Director and Best Actor. At the 1976 Academy Awards, Scent of a Woman was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Screenplay (Adapted).

Scent of a Woman has been overshadowed by the more popular remake from 1992 starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. Directed by Martin Brest and adapted by Bo Goldman, the 1992 film uses the original story as more of a springboard for a new story. The basic elements are there. You have the blind Army officer, the young man hired to be his guide, the whirlwind trip and the secret suicide pact. Brest’s film adds more layers to the story giving O’Donnell’s character Charlie a significant storyline as the scholarship sponsored prep school kid. Charlie gets caught in a disciplinary investigation because of a prank perpetrated by his more privileged classmates. This adds tension to the plot and gives Pacino his moment to shine with his grand speech that became a hallmark of the film. The 1992 adaptation is almost an hour longer than the original version allowing Pacino and O’Donnell’s characters to develop a deeper emotional bond. Like Gassman, Pacino’s performance was much celebrated and earned him his first Academy Award win for Best Actor.

The biggest tragedy for the 1974 version of Scent of a Woman came way of Alessandro Momo’s untimely death at the tender age of 17. Shortly after filming had wrapped and just a few days shy of his 18th birthday, Momo was involved in a motorcycle accident that claimed his life. Actress Eleonora Giorgi, who lent him the vehicle, was investigated for her involvement in his death. At the time it was illegal in Italy for anyone under the age of 21 to drive a motorcycle. Momo was on his way to stardom thanks to a series of photo comics, television appearances and several major film productions. Italian cinema lost a bright new star far too soon.

by Raquel Stecher
Scent Of A Woman (1974)

Scent of a Woman (1974)

Scent of a Woman (1974) Director Dino Risi’s Profumo Di Donna/Scent of a Woman (1974) comes at the end of a long line of films known as Commedia all’Italiana (Italian Style Comedy). The period between the late 1950s and the mid-1970s saw Italian filmmakers exploring social issues, specifically sex, marriage, divorce, inequality, economic prosperity and religion through the lens of satire with a distinct melancholy tone. Risi helped established this genre alongside his frequent star Vittorio Gassman, known by his nickname Il Mattatore, and eventually became inextricably linked as the master of this filmmaking style. Scent of a Woman was based on Giovanni Arpino’s novel Il buio e il miele (Darkness and Honey) and told the story of army captain Fausto Consolo (Vittorio Gassman), blinded in a freak accident, who hires Giovanni (Alessandro Momo), a teenager he affectionately refers to as Ciccio/babyfat, to guide him on a weeklong trip from Turin to Rome, Italy. What Ciccio doesn’t know is that Fausto intends this journey to be his last hurrah before committing suicide. The film is dripping with misogyny, ridiculous scenarios and hilariously awkward situations between Fausto and Ciccio. Italian actress Agostina Belli, whose film work was mostly in the 1970s, plays the role of Sara, Fausto’s love interest. Her character’s introduction to the film adds some gravitas and drives the story to its sentimental conclusion. Gassman’s performance as the irascible blind man with a nose for the ladies helped launch the film as a critical and commercial success. Profumo Di Donna premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975. Gassman won the Award for Best Actor that year and Risi was nominated for Best Director. Upon its success in Europe, 20th Century Fox distributed the film in the US as Scent of a Woman. The film was lavished with many nominations and awards including various Italian Golden Globes, a Cesar in France and a David di Donatello award for Best Director and Best Actor. At the 1976 Academy Awards, Scent of a Woman was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Screenplay (Adapted). Scent of a Woman has been overshadowed by the more popular remake from 1992 starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. Directed by Martin Brest and adapted by Bo Goldman, the 1992 film uses the original story as more of a springboard for a new story. The basic elements are there. You have the blind Army officer, the young man hired to be his guide, the whirlwind trip and the secret suicide pact. Brest’s film adds more layers to the story giving O’Donnell’s character Charlie a significant storyline as the scholarship sponsored prep school kid. Charlie gets caught in a disciplinary investigation because of a prank perpetrated by his more privileged classmates. This adds tension to the plot and gives Pacino his moment to shine with his grand speech that became a hallmark of the film. The 1992 adaptation is almost an hour longer than the original version allowing Pacino and O’Donnell’s characters to develop a deeper emotional bond. Like Gassman, Pacino’s performance was much celebrated and earned him his first Academy Award win for Best Actor. The biggest tragedy for the 1974 version of Scent of a Woman came way of Alessandro Momo’s untimely death at the tender age of 17. Shortly after filming had wrapped and just a few days shy of his 18th birthday, Momo was involved in a motorcycle accident that claimed his life. Actress Eleonora Giorgi, who lent him the vehicle, was investigated for her involvement in his death. At the time it was illegal in Italy for anyone under the age of 21 to drive a motorcycle. Momo was on his way to stardom thanks to a series of photo comics, television appearances and several major film productions. Italian cinema lost a bright new star far too soon. by Raquel Stecher

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1975

Released in United States on Video October 7, 1997

A loose remake, "suggested by a character" from this film, was directed and produced by Martin Brest in 1992 as "Scent of A Woman."

Released in United States 1975

Released in United States on Video October 7, 1997