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Marriage Italian Style (Matrimonio all'italiana) - (Mr Bongo Films) [DVD] [1964]

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren
  • Directors: Vittorio De Sica
  • Producers: Carlo Ponti
  • Format: Anamorphic, DVD-Video, PAL, Subtitled, Mono
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Mr Bongo Films
  • DVD Release Date: 11 May 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0025TURZM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,992 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Wealthy playboy Domenico Soriano's (Marcello Mastroianni) life revolves around a careful management of his business and private affairs. His complacency is challenged by Filumena Marturano (Sophia Loren). A former prostitute, she becomes Domenico s mistress and manages his pastry shop, grateful for her lover s generosity. The equation of the relationship changes when she catches Domenico flaunting his younger mistress before her. Enraged she tricks Domenico into marrying her and tethers her reluctant husband by revealing that he's the father of at least one of her three children.

Adapted from a play by Eduardo de Filippo, Marriage Italian Style is a satirical examination of the institution of marriage in Italian society. A singular coming together of talents, it features two of Italy's greatest stars - Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren directed by fellow national treasure Vittorio de Sica. Marriage Italian Style falls in the middle-period of his career where the tough realism of The Bicycle Thief achieves a refined elegance in this uncompromising film.

Review

Whenever Vittorio De Sica gets together with Sophia Loren something wonderful happens --New York Times

If De Sica can find a joke, he goes for it, and is gleefully joined by his stars --Film4

If De Sica can find a joke, he goes for it, and is gleefully joined by his stars --Film4

Customer Reviews

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Format: DVD
Marriage Italian Style (1964) has enough romance, drama and comedy to be considered all of them. The story begins with us seeing Filumena (Sophia Loren) on her deathbed and quite a fuss being made about it. The people there send for Domenico (Marcello Mastroianni), who was her lover for some 22 years. We learn about the couple's strange relationship in a series of flashbacks. The story of this pair is quite amazing and unusual.

I wouldn't call their romance very typical. Domenico met Filumena when she was just 17 and worked in a brothel at the end of World War II. He is quite slick and does just enough to keep her from protesting stringing her along for so long. The story spends some time developing and showing us how Filumena isn't always treated so well and doesn't have an easy life. The story takes a few unexpected turns and there is much more to it than the above, which is where the humor comes in. What I like most about this film is that it has a story that comes together beautifully.

For those unfamiliar with Sophia Loren, she could be considered one of the most famous and most beautiful Italian actresses of all time. She also stared in many American films, which made her world-renowned. Her performance in Marriage Italian Style is remarkable.

Although I prefer to watch movies in their original language, this edition of Marriage Italian Style also has the option to watch it dubbed in English or German. Or if you are like me, there is the original Italian audio too (with an option for English subtitles). If you heard about this film and want to finally see it, love Sophia Loren's work or just can't get enough of Italian cinema, don't miss this one.
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Having a widescreen copy of this wonderful film is very welcome after so many years of bad, full-screen versions. It does not appear to be remastered or restored, but the transfer is quite decent. Less so are the subtitles which are sometimes incomplete and sometimes innacurate, but not bad enough to spoil a beautiful and touching film.

But this is the best we have right now, until someone like Criterion or Bfi goes into action, and I, for one, am very glad to have it.
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Confectionery shop owner Don Domenico (Marcello Mastroianni) meets 17-year old Filumena Maturano (Sophia Loren) in a Naples brothel during a Second World War air raid. He rescues her, sets her up as his mistress, and over the years exploits her remorselessly (as he exploits most people). She loves him dearly but is disillusioned when she finds he is having an affair with the confectionery shop's young cashier. To win him back, she stages her own death, and when this doesn't work, she admits that she's the mother of three sons, one of whom is Domenico's. Don Domenico at last gives way, and the couple get married.

Such are the bare outlines of the plot, but a simple description doesn't do justice to the Edoardo de Filippo play, which is a funny, subtle and moving account of love between a Neapolitan couple during the 1950s and 1960s. De Sica gives the story the full works: lush and vivid colour photography, sentimental background music and huge emphasis on the romantic are combined to provide a showcase for the justly famous partnership (famous in the 1960s, anyway) of Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren.

The principal actors give what is possibly the most marvellous of their many comedic double acts, and if you want to see why their cinematic partnership was so famous, look no further. Mastroianni captures the character of the faithless and louche Neapolitan businessman to absolute perfection; Loren, then at the very top of her form, gives an intelligent and quite moving portrayal of the exploited mistress. Never was she more sexy than she is in this film, but Loren was (and is) a highly intelligent and thoroughly professional actress, and the intelligence shines through just as much as the sex appeal.
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I've been patiently waiting for a decent version of this movie to come along and FINALLY an excellent one has arrived in this DVD, wide screen and all. The picture is clear and crisp, colors are rich and bright and the sound is excellent. It would have been nice to have extras, like old premiere footage, commentaries by Loren, etc., but who's complaining we have the real deal- the movie. After all, this is a film that brought Sophia her second Oscar nomination, a David Di Donatello award (Italy's Oscar), a Moscow Film Festival Award and other international awards. In my humble opinion, this is without a doubt Sophia Loren's finest acting performance, it even surpasses her greatest performances in "Two Women" and "A Special Day" and I say this because it is such a well rounded role, allowing her to run the gamut from comedy to drama, and she does so with great depth. No one laughs, suffers or cries more convincingly on the screen than the divine Loren, and director Vittorio de Sica knew how to extract the best that she had to give. The story is told through his and hers flashbacks and takes Sophia (Filumena) from her late teens to a middle aged woman,so multi faceted, running Loren from naive prostitute in worn torn Italy, to savvy kept woman, to conniving business woman to being a faithful mother;young or old, she shines and looks beautiful, commanding the screen with a fire and poignant dignity that leave you breathless. Add to this her wonderful partner Marcello Mastroianni and you have a solid if unusual love story which tugs at the heart Italian style.Read more ›
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