Sette volte donna (1967)

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Sette volte donna (1967)

“Woman Times Seven”/”Sept fois femme”
Cast
Alan Arkin as Fred
Laurence Badie as Prostitute
Lex Barker as Rik
Rossano Brazzi as Giorgio
Michael Caine as Young Man
Adrienne Corri as Mme Lisiere
Anita Ekberg as Claudie
Vittorio Gassman as Cenci
Clinton Greyn as MacCormack
Shirley MacLaine as Paulette/Maria Teresa/Linda/Edith/Eve Minou/Marie/Jeanne
Judith Magre as Bitter Thirty
Elspeth March as Annette
Elsa Martinelli as pretty woman
Robert Morley as Dr. Xavier
Philippe Noiret as Victor
Catherine Samie as Jeannine
Peter Sellers as Jean
Patrick Wymark as Henri

Director
Vittorio De Sica
Peter Baldwin, assistant director
Marc Monnet, assistant director

Writers
Cesare Zavattini

Director of Photography
Christian Matras

Composer
Riz Ortolani

Costumes
Marcel Escoffier

Editing
Teddy Darvas
Victoria Mercanton

Production
Arthur Cohn, Joseph E. Levine in association with Embassy Pictures

Synopsis
Shirley MacLaine plays seven different women in seven different vignettes in this film – Rossano appears in the second segment, entitled, “Amateur Night”. The synopsis was written for the “Production Information Manual”, and it may help to know that “gendarmes” is a European word for “policemen”, and that a “procurer” is a pimp.

“Maria Teresa (SHIRLEY MacLAINE), an upper-class woman living in Paris, comes home a day early from a vacation in her native Italy. Arriving late at night, she enters her bedroom, turns on the lights and gasps in horror. In bed with her husband Giorgio (ROSSANO BRAZZI), is a curvaceous woman. Maria, at first shocked, then violently angry, races into the night, swearing that in retribution she will sleep with the first man she meets. Maria, however, encounters difficulty in finding a suitable man, and when she runs wildly through the streets, she ends up in a park that is a hang-out for prostitutes. After listening to Maria’s story, the streetwalkers, especially Jeannine (CATHERINE SAMIE), and a bitter 30-year old (JUDITH MAGRE), decide to find her one of their clients. Following an unsuccessful attempt to match Maria with a judge, the gendarmes arrive and Jeannine gets her procurer, Didi, to take the mistreated wife home in his Jaguar. During the ride Didi tries to lure Maria Teresa into his stable, but she declines. When they arrive in front of her house, Giorgio is spotted on the road. Giorgio, thinking his wife has carried out her threat, insults Didi, and the hulking procurer flattens him with one punch, leaving Maria Theresa cradling her husband’s groggy head on her lap in the middle of the street.”

Review
In an interview with columnist Sheilah Graham in 1966, Rossano mentioned that his next project would be this one, saying, “I play a – yeah, yeah – satire of a Latin Lover.” His assessment of the role was accurate, but he neglected to mention how funny his satire actually was. In the production release (above) Maria Teresa is described as “violently angry”. By that, they meant that she picked up every item of breakable glass and furniture in their apartment and flung it at him – Rossano’s character, ducking the flying, crashing and splintering onslaught in his bare feet and pajamas is called upon to leap up on furniture, fling himself out of harm’s way, and, generally, engage in a dance of fancy footwork Gene Kelly would have envied. While we don’t see him again until the conclusion of the segment, his final scene, on the receiving end of a brutal punch from that very large and muscular procurer, will make you burst out laughing. A satire, yes, but a very funny one.

THE PRESS RELEASE
In the biographical sketch accompanying the Production Information Manual, written in 1967: “Recently, Brazzi has developed an increasing interest in film directing. His first film as a director, “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t”, was a box-office hit in New York during the 1966 holiday season and is now being seen around the world. His next directing project is Cosa Nostra, a satirical comedy about the Italian underworld that will star Peter Sellers. Brazzi also wrote the script and plans to play the small role of a Mafia chieftain.”

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