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Marriage, Italian Style Review

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Domenico first meets Filumena in a Neapolitan brothel in the Second World War. After the war they become lovers on and off for 22 years. Domenico eventually rents an apartment for Filumena and even lets her run his shop. Finally Filumena asks Domenico to marry her on her deathbed, just before he had planned to marry his young cashier

★★★★★

Before they were reunited for Pret-a-Porter, Loren and Mastroianni made up one of European cinema’s best loved partnerships. Although that partnership is not best served this back catalogue sampler — the years have not been kind — this is still an interesting addition to the growing stockpile of Italian cinema. Directed by the Bicycle Thief’s legendary De Sica, Loren stars as Filumena who tricks long-time lover Domenico (Mastoianni) into marriage on what he believes is her death bed. Loren has rarely looked more alluring, while Mastroianni delivers his smooth Latin lover routine with aplomb.

Repellant characters, but a charming story, expertly told.