Biblioteca JB

Divorce italian style

Divorce Italian Style (Italian: Divorzio all'italiana) is a 1961 Italian comedy film directed by Pietro Germi. The screenplay was written by Ennio De Concini, Pietro Germi, Alfredo Giannetti, and Agenore Incrocci; based on the novel Un delitto d'onore (Crime of Honor) by Giovanni Arpino.

Ferdinando Cefalù (Marcello Mastroianni), an impoverished Sicilian nobleman, is married to Rosalia (Daniela Rocca), an unattractive but devoted wife. However, he is in love with his cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli), a very much younger and attractive woman whom he sees only during the summers because her family sends her away to the city to a nunnery to receive her education. Besides his wife, he shares his life with his elderly parents and his spinster sister and her boyfriend who runs a funeral business; the family share their once stately palace with his uncles, who are slowly but surely eating away the remainders of the then rich estate of the Baron.
 
Ferdinando spends his spare time (which is most of it) imagining several ways in which he can do away with his wife, such as throwing her into a boiling caldron to turn her into soap or sending her into space in a rocket. At a beach, he has a daydream of his wife in quicksand and she is pulled under. After a chance encounter with Angela during a family trip, he discovers that she shares his feelings. With this, he resolves to carry out his plans and is inspired by a local story of a woman who killed her husband in a rage of jealousy to make his wife have an affair so that he can catch her in flagrante delicto, murder her, and receive a light sentence for committing an honor killing, studying very carefully the Criminal Code. As he goes along fleshing out his plan, he first needs to find a suitable man for his wife, which he finds in the local priest's godson, Carmelo Patanè, who has had feelings for Rosalia for years and was presumed dead in Africa during World War II. He then also procures the State Prosecutor's friendship with small favors. The final stage of his plan is arranging to have Carmelo's constant presence in his house, which is achieved by his interest in having his palace frescoes restored.
 
Clasificación [ CM DVD 00516] Disponible en DVD, 4 Piso BJB)