What It’s About: Ferdinando Cefalu (Marcello Mastroianni) is a minor Sicilian baron who is unhappy with his wife Rosalia (Daniela Rocca) and in love with his cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli). At this point in Italian history it was illegal to divorce (but it was legal to marry your first cousin!?!), and there were only limited penalties for a crime of passion committed to avenge one’s honor. Naturally, Fredinando seizes on this possibility and sets about finding a man interested in his wife and encouraging an affair so he can get a “divorce”-Italian style.
Why Watch it Today?: The first divorce in Colonial history occurred on this date in 1643. Divorce, Italian Style is a blackly comic romp oozing with 1960s continental style and verve, largely due to the dashing presence of Mastrioianni.