Divorce Italian Style

Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli and Leopoldo Trieste
Written by  Ennio De Concini, Pietro Germi and Alfredo Giannetti
Directed by Pietro Germi
Italy 1961
108 mins

After a run of serious and unsettling dramas we thought it was time for a classic European comedy to change the mood...

This one features perhaps the greatest and most iconic of all Italian film actors - Marcello Mastroianni.  Best known for his collaborations with Federico Fellini - notably 'La Dolce Vita' and '8 1/2' Mastroianni's beautifully nuanced style of performing is a joy to behold. Growing up in wartime his career began in the 1950s in films like 'Big Deal On Madonna Street' and by the early 1960s he had become an international movie star and celebrity. During his lifetime Mastroianni had relationships with some of the most famous actresses of the time including Catherine Deneuve, Faye Dunaway, Ursula Andress and Claudia Cardinale.

'Divorce Italian Style'  tells the tangled tale of Ferdinando, an impoverished Italian nobleman  whose desire to be separated from his wife Rosalia is prevented by the law of the land so he must find another, more nefarious means of becoming single. His hapless plotting leads him and us into all kinds of hilarious situations.

This classic black comedy won the Oscar for best original screenplay in 1962. Years ahead of its time in cinematic technique it is beautifully shot by Carlo Di Palma and features documentary style introductions and odd dream sequences.  At once a portrait of the antiquated society of Sicily at the time and a jet black satire of human nature 'Divorce Italian Style' would be a big influence on the Hollywood movies of the era.