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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vizietto all' Italiana or the sexy Italian comedy!

At the end of the '70's the career of Marisa Mell was gradually coming to an end due to bad judgement about choosing the right movies, her liberal lifestyle with drugs, sex and alcohol and bad friends and influences. What had started at the middle of the seventies with roles in dubious films, like "La belva col mitra" with Helmut Berger, was now becoming very obvious. Her bright star was slowly fading away as was her beauty! Her lifestyle was beginning to show fysically. Although Marisa Mell was still a very beautiful women, the marks on her face told another story! She lived in Rome and was used to a rather wealthy way of living but money was drying up as were the better payed roles! Her only option was accepting lesser parts in more questionable movies for lesser money than she used to. Fortunately the name "Marisa Mell" was still meaning something box-office wise in Italy and it neighbouring countries. So she was able to get a part in what is known as the "Italian Sexy Movie". The movie was called "La liceale al mare con l'amica di papa" or in English "The collega girl goes to sea with her father's girlfriend".

The Italian sexy movie is a genre during the 70's like the spiaghetti western, giallo, eurospy or poliziotteschi. The characteristics are always the same: a beautiful (young) girl either discovering her sexuallity (mostly student) or being sexual already mature (mostly doctor, nurse, teacher), some fustrated adults, one beautiful (young) boy and his dumb friend(s), some nuns or priests, the army, school, hospital... and a lot of innuendo. The locadina of these movies are also always the same as you can see by these examples. The girl is always in a sexual situation and in a state of being half undressed. Her underwear is almost always visible and some people are standing around her and looking very surprised at the situation. The locadina always promised more than the movie offered. It's target audience were pubering males. Storywise the story was often so complicated and had no real storyline that at the end of the movie the audience had no idea what the story was about or forgot very quickly it's plotline. The sexy Italian comedies had their own stable or factory of directors, actors and actresses whom appeared again and again in the some roles. You can compare these movies with the "Carry on"-movies in the UK. Directors were for example Nando Cicero, Mariano Laurenti, Michele Massimo Tarantini...; actors like Lino Banfi, Gianfranco D'Angelo, Alvaro Vitali... and actresses like Laura Antonelli, Edwige Fenech, Barbara Bouchet and Gloria Guida.

The movies were made very cheap because their durability was very short in the theaters! Just like the peplums in the 60's the audience went to see these movies on boring sunday afternoons when nothing else could be done! These movies were filmed and shown in a country with Rome as it's capital and seat of Christianity. On one side you have the strong Christian morals like faith, chastity, believing in the devine... and at the other side you have the content of these sexy movies: voyeurism, adultery, exhibitionism, suppressed desires.... All the above elements can be found in the movie "La liceale al mare con l'amica di papa". Different from all the other movies is the main storyline. It does not revolve around the sexy daughter of the house but around the still sexy mother played by Marisa Mell as Violante Castaldi. The storyline of the father with his mistress and his daughter with her sexual awakening play second fiddle to the main storyline. In 1980, the sexy Italian movie genre came to an end. How many times can you recycle a storyline? La liceale al mare con l'amica di papa is regarded as the last movie in the sexy Italian comedy-series.

If you would like to know more about this genre than this link will bring you to a great book with CD:


Anonymous said...

Gran especialista en el tema: Gordiano Lupi

Keith said...

I never knew she did any movies like this. My girl in those type of movies was always Edwige Fenech. The movies are seldom very good though.

Anonymous said...

Il Vizietto = Vicios Pequeños o La Jaula de las locas (Spain)

Anonymous said...

Arrivano i Gatti (1979)