Seven Beauties (Pasqualino Settebellezze) (1976)

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Movie Info

Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller directs the black comedy Pasqualino Settebellezze (Seven Beauties). During WWII, Pasqualino Frafuso (Giancarlo Giannini) ends up lost in a dense forest along with fellow army deserter Francesco (Piero De Orio). After they witness a mass execution by German soldiers, Francesco admits his moral opposition to the Nazis and Pasqualino reveals his criminal past in a series of flashbacks. Back in Naples, he was known as "Pasqualino Seven Beauties," a petty thief who lived off the profits of his seven sisters while claiming to protect their honor at any cost. When Totonno (Mario Conti) pimps out his sister Concettina (Elena Fiore), Pasqualino kills him, chops up his body, and mails each piece across the country. He is then arrested and sent to a mental institution, where he commits sexual assault against another patient. Kicked out of the asylum, he is sent to fight in the army. The Germans capture him and he gets sent to a concentration camp. He then plots to make his escape by demoralizing himself in an attempt to seduce a German officer (Shirley Stoler). Seven Beauties was nominated for four Academy Awards in 1977, including Best Foreign Film.

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Critic Reviews for Seven Beauties (Pasqualino Settebellezze)

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1)

Its virtuoso style, demonstrating once again Miss Wertmuller's mastery of filmmaking, is used to tell us a story that's very opaque, despairing, and bottomless.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Although the transitions between times and perspectives and places are exciting and beautifully done, they are really transitions from nowhere to nowhere.

Apr 4, 2018 | Full Review…

You can't take your eyes of Giancarlo Giannini who sells the film better than it sells itself.

Aug 15, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Nominated for five Oscars, "Seven Beauties" remains a singular example of women's cinema grappling with the tattered shreds of war to get at otherwise unspoken truths.

Nov 28, 2010 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Lina Wertmuller's audacious art-house hit is at once ruthless, sadistic and cynical -- it's also very funny, using its black comedy trappings to unearth laughs where none should exist.

Apr 12, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

With final words that are both exhilarating and sad, and [a]...message that maligns wars of all types...Wertmüller has crafted a political protest out of the tenets of tragedy

Sep 30, 2005 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Seven Beauties (Pasqualino Settebellezze)

No doubt this was an inspiration for black comedies depicting the war in later decades. The two leads are absolutely hilarious in their mishaps in the midst of such a terrible conflict.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

½

What would you be willing to do to ensure your survival? Would you sacrifice your honor, your body, your soul? Would you murder? Is moral ambiguity permissable during times of war? The opening film footage of Hitler, Mussoulini, the Russian fronteir, and bombings juxtaposed against the narration of a litany of 'Oh Yeahs' provides a context for these questions. If you have prostiuted and murdered in order to live, is yours a life worth living? A brilliant and damning critique!

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

½

Though the film gets sort of laborious, I appreciated Seven Beauties for constantly taking risks. It's worth it to check the movie out.

Andrew Fillmore
Andrew Fillmore

Super Reviewer

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