PRIEST’S WIFE, THE
(director/writer: Dino Risi; screenwriters: Ruggero Maccari/Bernardino Zapponi/story by Risi, Maccari & Zapponi; cinematographer: Alfio Contini; editor: Alberto Gallitti; music: Amondo Trovajoli; cast: Sofia Loren (Valeria), Marcello Mastroianni (Don Mario), Venantino Venantini (Maurizio); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: G; producer: Carlo Ponti; WB; 1970-Italy-in Italian with English subtitles)
“A dull and tasteless personal sex comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A dull and tasteless personal sex comedy. This is the eighth of the twelve movies Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni starred in together. Writer-director Dino Risi (“Love in the City”/”The Easy Life”) unsatisfactorily cobbles together a farce and toothless satire from a story he wrote with Ruggero Maccari & Bernardino Zapponi. The script by the same three isn’t worth crap.
It opens with an irate Valeria (Sofia Loren), a pop singer, chasing down in her car, her lying boyfriend Maurizio (Venantino Venantini), of the last four years, who never mentioned he was married.
After swallowing too many sleeping pills, the despondent Valeria phones a suicide hotline and is attracted by the soothing voice of the priest, Don Mario (Marcello Mastroianni), on the other end. trying to save her life. At the hospital, where she recovers the next day after passing out, she feels cheated when she discovers she was talking to a priest (Marcello Mastroianni). Falling for him, she is determined to marry him by getting him to break his celibacy vows.
In this mildly scandalous pic, that spoofs the life of a priest, Valeria pursues her priest from Padua to Venice. The priest consults his colleagues for help, who tell him to get a mistress to avoid marriage.
It turns out to be just a bad movie, one that no one can help.
REVIEWED ON 11/4/2017 GRADE: C