A huge international success, mixing farce, tragedy, politics and melodrama
A formidable trio of actors show their class from start to finish
Palme d’Or 1970 for Best Male Actor to Marcello Mastroianni
Even today, it is clear why this film met with such enormous international success. Scola (together with Age & Scarpelli at their very best) holds the delicate subject matter together with his confident hand: a working class ménage à trois destined to fail, a sort of Jules et Jim set in Rome. Dramma della gelosia admirably shifts between farce and tragedy, held up by extraordinary performances from the three lead actors. But Scola isn’t just telling a complex and involving story. The film is also a sharp social analysis. The director said: “I wanted to see how the working class could endure bourgeois culture.” Therefore, behind the wild tales of life and death lies a political film. However, that doesn’t weigh the story down.
Florist Adelaide becomes the lover of Oreste, a married communist bricklayer. During a protest march, Oreste meets Nello, a pizza-maker, and has the unfortunate idea of introducing him to Adelaide. She ends up falling for Nello as well. As she can’t decide between her two lovers, it results in a love triangle, which, however, isn’t destined to last for very long. Oreste loses his job and his home. Adelaide decides to marry the pizza-maker. But before the wedding she is killed by Oreste in a fit of jealousy.