Salvare la faccia (1968)

"Psychout for Murder"/Literal: Saving Face
Spanish Titles: "Pecados en Familia"/"Salvar la casa"
Cast
Rossano Brazzi as Brigoli
Nestor Garay as Politician
Nino Castelnuovo as Mario
Alberto De Mendoza as Francesco
Adrienne La Russa as Lidia
Renzo Petretto as Paterlini
Paola Pitagora as Giovanna
Idelma Carlo as Laura

Director
Rossano Brazzi as Edward Ross
Ted Kneeland

Writers
Oscar Brazzi Mario Proietti Diana Crispo (based on a story by Oscar Brazzi)

Editor Amedeo Giomini

Music
Benedetto Ghiglia

Art Director
Francesco Della Noce
Giovanni Fratalocchi

Production
Chiara Films (Italy)
Oscar Brazzi
Banco Films
Glori Art

Country of Origin
Argentina
Italy

Genre
Drama

Duration
88 minutes, color

Synopsis/Reviews

The synopsis below has been provided by the Movie Guide Database. The English version is not available, but the Italian and Spanish versions can be purchased below.

Rossano's direction has been hampered by some poor editing and even worse dubbing later on ... but there is much to be said for his evident talent at setting scenes. The hints of his unusual style first seen two years earlier in The Christmas That Almost Wasn't is much more evident here: a striking use of light and shadow and barren, stark and almost surreal settings and juxtapositions tell as much of the story as does the dialogue. It's a shame that he didn't direct more often: his use of flashing images to create thought in his characters takes some getting used to, but is really very well done in this.

"La Russa is the daughter of Brazzi, a wealthy and prominent industrialist. She is a lover of life, completely free of all inhibition. She falls in love with Castelnuovo, not knowing that he wants to use her to his advantage. La Russa is lured to a brothel, where the two proceed to make love. They are surprised by a police vice squad and press photographers. To avoid scandal, Brazzi has La Russa confined to a mental institution. He must also pay off Castelnuovo when the young man threatens blackmail. Later, La Russa is released and returns home. She tells everyone she is happy but really seeks revenge for her confinement. She has Castelnuovo film her father making love with his mistress. When Brazzi shows some business clients film of his trip to the Holy Land, the sex footage is mixed in as well. La Russa then seduces her brother-in-law, thus driving her sister (Pitagora) to suicide. Finally, she has her revenge on Castelnuovo. Learning that her father is going to visit the man, she drugs her former lover's champagne. She props up the unconscious man in bed and fixes a pistol to point directly at his face. The trigger is attached by string to the doorknob. When her father enters the room, the gun goes off, killing Castelnuovo. She later confronts Brazzi, telling him she knows he murdered her ex-lover but will not tell the cops. But she promises her father one thing: she intends to make the rest of his life a living nightmare. There is some really interesting photography in the film, with some fine editing patterns. The leads also give good performances and instill the film with life. However, the dialog, poorly recorded in English, is completely insipid. There's also some completely unnecessary elements, such as bad rock music, a masturbation-in-a-bathtub sequence, and unrelated conversations about the nature of power and money. These factors bring down what could have been an interesting and intriguing feature."

Buy This Film (Italian only)


Buy This Film (Spanish only)


Viewer's Comments


"It's a strange film made in Spain from an idea by Oscar Brazzi, who also produced it. Dialog in Spanish but easy to understand the scenario. In the first scene, Rossano, a wealthy industrialist, is surrounded by VIPs at the ribbon cutting for his new factory. His older daughter Giovanna and son-in-law Francesco are present, but younger daughter Lidia is having a tryst with her artist boyfriend at a cheap hotel.

The hotel is raided and the press take pictures. Rossano arrives in a rage, wrestling a camera away from a photographer. He takes Lidia to a "sanitorio" (presumably for promiscuous progeny who embarrass Papas.) Well, if she was not mad when she was admitted, she sure is when released. She has her revenge and then some.

She arranges for her boyfriend (who was paid off by Papa) to film Papa and his mistress in their private moments. Imagine Papa's dismay when these scenes are spliced into a home movie which he runs for his guest the Cardinal! Lidia's cunning and ingenuity knows no bounds. She wires a gun to a door knob and aims it at boyfriend Marco's drugged head. Then arranges for Papa to visit, thus causing Papa to kill Marco unknowingly. Her final revenge comes when she succeeds in seducing her brother-in-law Francesco and causing her sister Giovanna to leap to her death from the balcony.

In the last scene, Father and daughter are seated at the dining table in the huge empty house. A close up of Rossano's eyes (with which he acts so eloquently) shows only desolation and resignation.

If you can endure the jarring staccato photography (I think I see the Andy Warhol influence), you may find it amusing."

Connie Liss, New Jersey

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