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Smell of Flesh (1974)

La sbandata (original title)
| Comedy
Salvatore Cannavone (Domenico Modugno) is a Sicilian cobbler-cum-shoe salesman who has worked for thirty years in New York City. He returns to his hometown where, although of modest means ... See full summary »

Writers:

Pietro Buttitta (novel), Salvatore Samperi (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Domenico Modugno ... Salvatore
Eleonora Giorgi ... Mariuccia / Raffaele's stepdaughter
Pippo Franco Pippo Franco ... Raffaele / Salvatore's brother
Luciana Paluzzi ... Rosa / Raffaele's wife
Franco Agostini Franco Agostini ... Giovanni
Nino Musco Nino Musco ... Lawyer
Umberto Spadaro Umberto Spadaro ... Doctor
Gino Pernice ... Carluzzo / card player (as Luigi Pernice)
Renzo Rinaldi Renzo Rinaldi ... Card player (as Enzo Rinaldi)
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Storyline

Salvatore Cannavone (Domenico Modugno) is a Sicilian cobbler-cum-shoe salesman who has worked for thirty years in New York City. He returns to his hometown where, although of modest means in America, he is considered a wealthy man and becomes the center of attraction. He begins to live with his brother Raffaele (Pippo Franco), his wife Rosa (Luciana Paluzzi), and his stepdaughter Mariuccia (Eleonora Giorgi) and, starting from their first meet, he and Mariuccia get busy with games of seduction. Raffaelle notices Salvatore's interest in Mariuccia and attempts to make use of it to have him stay at their house and to exploit his wealth. On the other hand, Salvatore also has an eye on voluptuous Rosa and both Mariuccia and Rosa begin to see Salvatore's passion as a means to secure the economic benefits he provides, which eventually leads to a peculiar threesome. Things get even more complicated when Mariuccia is betrothed to another man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Also Known As:

El cachondo See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

"The Smell of Flesh"
27 November 2009 | by lazarilloSee all my reviews

Salvatore Samperi is considered a respected director today in Italy apparently, but international recognition has largely eluded him, perhaps because all of his films have been clumsily (often horribly) dubbed into English as opposed to subtitled. The dubbing in the version of this I saw wasn't bad relatively (the Sicilian characters have Italian accents at least, as opposed to Texas or cockney ones, and there are no adult women trying to dub children by talking in a really high-pitched voices). Still, it's hard to fully appreciate a film like this when you're dealing with indifferent English dubbing, a lousy full-screen video transfer, and electronic Portugese subtitles (don't ask). But here goes:

Technically, Samperi was only the writer-producer here with Alfredo Malfatti directing, but this movie is definitely at a piece with Samperi's other films. His most famous film "Malizia" is about a boy sexually obsessed with his stepmother-to-be. "Scandalo" is about a man who desires the adolescent daughter of his married lover. "The Dark Side of Love" is about unhealthy (and eventually sexual relationship) between a brother and sister. (Do you see a pattern developing here?). This movie is about a man (Domenico Modguno) who returns to his native Sicily from New York where he has earned a relative fortune by Sicilian standards working as a lowly shoe salesman. He moves in his brother and his brother's new wife (former Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi), but quickly becomes obsessed with his brother's nubile stepdaughter (his own "niece") played by Eleanora Giorgi. There's quite a lot of gentle satire here involving both this "wealthy" immigrant "from America" and the provincial Sicilian yokels (the man and his brother have some pretty funny arguments about the merits of indoor plumbing).

The "uncle-niece" thing kind of puts this film in what was practically an entire genre of 70's Italian comedies and comedy-dramas inspired by Samperi's own "Malizia" and Ferdinand DiLeo's "The Seduction". These might be called "erotic family" films (one of them was actually called "Erotic Family"!). They are very Italian films with quasi-incestual themes, but are (usually) not nearly as sleazy as they sound because the characters are (usually) not blood relatives at least. It also helps greatly that the real-life actresses involved were almost always very gorgeous women well past the age of consent (i.e. Ornella Muti, Gloria Guida, Jenny Tamburi, Ely Galeani, Lili Karati, Sonia Viviani, Nastassia Kinski). The erotic content in this movie is pretty tasteful (perhaps TOO tasteful considering how damn sexy the then-twenty-year-old Eleonora Giorgi was). It could even be a respectable European "art" film with a decent presentation and some subtitles.


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