Italian culture experiences a period of transition across the four short narratives that comprise Boccaccio’70. Renzo and Luciana (directed by Mario Monicelli) chronicles the plight of a loving couple who work in the same factory but have to hide their marriage because of work regulations forbidding interaction amongst factory employees. Its dramatic sincerity contrasts starkly with the extravagance of The Temptation of Doctor Antonio. Federico Fellini’s first work in colour paints a phantasmagoric picture of the impact of mass-media consumerism on traditional values. This conflict is played out by the censorious Dr. Antonio (Peppino de Filippo) and his mighty opponent: a giant Anita Ekberg (La Dolce Vita) who teases her observers while stretched across a wide billboard.
Luchino Visconti’s The Job features Romy Schneider (Les Choses de la Vie) as an aristocratic housewife. Humiliated by a lurid sex scandal involving her husband (Tomás Milián), she threatens to renounce her life of privilege by taking up a job and start working for a living. Vittorio De Sica’s The Raffle is a comedy set in the working class world of carnival workers. Zoe, played by Sophia Loren (who had won an Oscar for De Sica’s Two Women), is driven by familial obligations and love for a bullfighter to literally offer herself as a prize to be won at a raffle.
Seen together, these four miniatures offer a unique portrait of Italy during its economic miracle. This undertaking by iconic producer Carlo Ponti (La Strada, Lola) is more than an unprecedented gathering of singular talents; it’s one of the greatest depictions of the diversity of Italian society.
"Boccaccio '70 is a celebration of the opposite sex, a foursome of testaments to the undying connection between women and life" -- DVDTalk
"It has glamour, sophistication, color, wit and sensuality (not necessarily in that order), all of which blend very well in the enveloping air of a facility that is to be devoted to the showing of sophisticated films" -- New York Times
Cast & Credits:
Marisa Solinas / Germano Gilioli / Anita Ekberg / Peppino De Filippo / Romy Schneider / Sophia Loren
1962 / 203 minutes / Italian with English Subtitles / Mono audio / 1.66 : 1 Colour / DVD PAL Multi Region / MRBDVD018
Directed - Vittorio De Sica / Federico Fellini / Mario Monicelli / Luchino Visconti