Divorce—Italian Style

Marcello Mastroianni is the Sicilian nobleman who dreams of marrying his pure and innocent cousin (Stefania Sandrelli) but must first rid himself of his wife (Daniela Rocca). Italian law won’t permit a divorce, but it is understanding about husbands who kill their unfaithful mates—so Mastroianni takes his wife out shopping for a lover. Drawing on the sangfroid of the British murder comedies of the 50s (in particular, Robert Hamer’s Kind Hearts and Coronets), director Pietro Germi gave a new impetus to Italian comedy with this 1962 feature: he nudged the genre from farce to satire, from the comedy of hysterical overplaying to the wit of underreaction. It remains a terrific entertainment, a European corollary to Preston Sturges. With Leopoldo Trieste. In Italian with subtitles.