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The Key [1984] [1985] [DVD]

Frank Finlay , Stefania Sandrelli , Tinto Brass    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Frank Finlay, Stefania Sandrelli, Franco Branciaroli, Barbara Cupisti, Maria Grazia Bon
  • Directors: Tinto Brass
  • Writers: Tinto Brass, Jun'ichirô Tanizaki
  • Producers: Giovanni Bertolucci
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Arrow
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Oct 2001
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MFIY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,542 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

In 1940, a couple celebrate the 20th anniversary of their wedding, but neither of them is fully satisfied with the sexual side of their relationship. Nino (Frank Finlay) and Teresa Rolfe (Stefania Sandrelli) both keep secret diaries in which they reveal their wildest fantasies - Nino wants his far younger wife to become less inhibited and to this end he tries to engineer an affair between her and their daughter's fiancée, Laslo.


A classic of erotic film. --Cinema of the World

Successfully skirts the line between arthouse and softcore erotica. --DVD Beaver

Successfully skirts the line between arthouse and softcore erotica. --DVD Beaver

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Key (Tinto Brass) 19 Jan 2005
By A Customer
I've watched this film several times in the past couple of months. It intrigues me. It's a beautifully strange, quirky, erotic well-filmed movie which has incredible attention to detail and then lets itself down in comic moments.
Tinto Brass has certain talents and one of them is truly capturing an era, another is truly appreciating the difference between erotic and pornographic films. This is erotic and it features some extremely good acting (Frank Finlay is superb and the female lead is stunningly beautiful). As in all his films, Brass allows his own fetish's to come to the fore every now and then which, in my opinion are slightly too 'earthy'!. If not for that, it would be a real 'watch with your wife/girlfriend' film. Despite that, the attention to detail, the cinematography, acting, lighting, story-line, eroticism, location and authentisity of the costumes/dress make this a wonderful example of a rare genre and very watchable indeed.
Ladies may enjoy it as a soft-core/drama alternative. A drama with an erotic edge!
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98 of 109 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this DVD 17 Aug 2003
By A Customer
Although this is a good movie for any Brass fans out there, this DVD is not the way to see it. Two reasons:
1. Although it is stated to be the English version almost 30% of the scenes are in Italian and not subtitled, therefore incomprehensible. This means you can follow the erotic main plotline, but you completely miss the political subplot unless you understand Italian.
2. The featured interview with Brass has him discussing a different movie he made (Cheeky, if I'm not mistaken) and at first leaves you in doubt what he is talking about.
I don't recommend this DVD and I suggest buying a region 1 version of this movie.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
TAKE NOTE THAT THE DVD SHOWN IN THIS LISTING ONLY HAS THE DUBBED ENGLISH AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED. But my star rating is for the Italian version. This version should only get 2 stars.

In fact this is one of only three films of Tinto Brass that I have been able to obtain with English subtitles, leaving the original soundtrack intact. All the others I have seen were completely ruined, as films usually are, by the clumsy dubbing from the same old dubbing studio and the same old bunch of actors. They have also ruined hundreds of other films and TV series and should have been put out of business decades ago.
But beware that you don't acquire the 'English' version of this by mistake. This listing here on Amazon is actually for the English dubbed version and should be avoided.

The well known English actor Frank Finlay in the main male part appears with his own voice in the Italian version.

Although there is, strictly speaking, really no single 'great erotic scene' in the film, there are a great many very well handled 'candid' erotic scenes generously distributed throughout the entire film and the cumulative effect is truly joyous especially if seen on a projection screen from which it gains a great deal, as of course do many arthaus films despite the intimate small scale subject matter. This film shares the same life-affirming, earthy life-force that is found in some other Italian films such as those of Fellini.

What do I mean by 'candid': I mean 'real' and honest, not idealised as in Hollywood love scenes; I mean an almost detatched documentary style not avoiding the clumsyness and awkwardness found in real life; I mean distanced and yet intimate at the same time; I mean that such scenes can be occasionally a little sordid or sometimes a little absurd.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Erotic Comedy 31 Jan 2006
This movie is actually one of the most funny erotic films i remember. Stefania Sandrelli is excelent in the role of a middle aged, sexually restless housewive and mother, living in Venice during the last days before Italy's entry in WW II.
The remaining cast is quite good but the award must go to the actress and the story, wrote by a japanese author. It is quite more joyful then "Senso 45", of the same director.
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