Birds, the Bees and the Italians, The / Signore & signori (1966)

5.0 out of 5

Pietro Germi, director of Divorce Italian Style, directs and co-authors a satirical triptych that is themed around the hypocrisy of those respected citizens who must be seen to behave with dignity. Through all this there is an underlying point. This is that everyone has a price and no price is to large for those who wish to avoid a scandal. This becomes especially evident in the final act when a doctor, and a number of small businessmen, seek to bribe their way out of a charge of corrupting a minor.

While each story differs in tone and emphasis, the first is possibly a little too busy. Nevertheless, by the second, the film truly hits its stride. Featuring a leading role for Gastone Moschin and a score reminiscent of The Third Man, this sharp, stylish and wonderfully realised Golden Globe nominated, Palme d'Or winning portmanteau is a real class act.

Cinematographer Aiace Parolin would go on to work on such cult favourites as They Have Changed Their Face, Afyon oppio, Baba Yaga and Keoma. Recommended.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics