Seduced and Abandoned

Pietro Germi followed Divorce, Italian Style with another grotesque comedy rooted in the antiquated absurdity of Sicilian mores. We have seen that only crime will dissolve a marriage; now we learn that only marriage absolves a crime. Never mind that, in this case, forcing the marriage adds insult to injury. Germi regular Stefania Sandrelli is fiercely marvelous as the underage, overprotected beauty whose father (Saro Urzì) frantically tries to marry her off to the seducer-abandoner even though the guy is her sister's fiancé, and a lachrymose buffoon to boot. Stolidly bemused townspeople play along for tradition's sake as this private affair explodes into the public square, and the comedy builds with baffling precision to a hallucinatory state. Urzì's comic timing matches the director's, tic for tat; as paterfamilias ridiculoso, he, not the young couple, is the real center of the maelstrom.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.