These are very rare English dubbed prints of Lina Wertmuller’s Italian masterpieces, “Seven Beauties” and “Swept Away”.
“Seven Beauties” is about an Italian everyman (Giancarlo Giannini) who deserts the army during World War II and is captured by the Germans and sent to a concentration camp, where he is willing to do anything necessary in order to survive, including having sexual relations with the grotesquely obese and hatefully sadistic female commandant. Through flashbacks, we learn about his family of seven unattractive sisters, his accidental murder of one sister’s lover, his imprisonment in an insane asylum, his rape of a mental patient, and his volunteering to be a soldier to escape confinement, only to find himself in an even worse predicament than before. This was the first film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director by a female. It was also nominated for Best Actor, Screenplay, and Foreign Film.
“Swept Away” is about a wealthy woman (Mariangela Melato) whose yachting vacation with friends in the Mediterranean Sea takes an unexpected turn when she and one of the boat’s crew members (Giancarlo Giannini) are separated from the others and they become stranded on a deserted island. The woman’s capitalist beliefs and the man’s communist convictions clash, but during their struggle to survive their situation, their social roles are reversed. This film was remade into a terrible 2002 film starring Madonna and Adriano Giannini (Giancarlo’s son). That version is a travesty!
Some people dislike dubbed films, but I first saw both of these films in the late 70s on PBS, and I love these versions. I dont know if the voice in both of these versions was acted out by Giannini or someone else, but it is endearing.