'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Addio, fratello crudele) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Addio, fratello crudele) Reviews

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September 9, 2013
John Ford's Jacobean tragedy is shocking today so I can't even imagine how it left theatre goers feeling in the 17th century when it was written. It is the story of an incestuous relationship a young woman, Annabella has with her brother, Giovanni, and the terrible consequences for all involved. It has a bloodthirsty, horrific and sickening finale making it one of the most powerful stories of that age. Filmed in 1972 by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi it is still a stunningly good film. Ford's script has been parred back somewhat and the setting, although contemporaneous with the play, has been stylised giving aspects of it a surreal, deliberately staged quality which adds to the nightmare quality of the story. There's a thin, reedy musical score by the master of Italian film music Ennio Morricone whihc suits the stark and bleak landscapes of the film perfectly. The small, peerless cast bring the florid and vivd text to life and make you really care about the tragic characters and their terrible fate. Charlotte Rampling takes your breath away as Annabella with her icy beauty and ability to convey a thousand words in a single glance. Oliver Tobias takes on the role of Giovanni and delivers monologues and lines of heart-wrenching beauty and soul-rending terror. Why did he not become a huge star? On the strength of his performance here, he should have had movie makers clawing over each other to offer him roles. Fabio Testi takes on the role of nobleman Sorenzo, who marries Annabella for love and family honour but discovers the terrible secret and wreaks his revenge. This is a role he plays extremely well, showing great tenderness and an awful vengeance. I can't praise the imaginative sets highly enough as the strangeness and stark quality of the wooden rooms and odd simplicity of the marble statues and furniture in many scenes help to focus the attention of the spoken word. I really love this film, disturbing and harrowing though it is and I just wish that it was both better known and more freely available. To my knowledge, it has never had a British DVD release and my old VHS copy is sadly showing some wear and tear. I can only hope, that at some point, an HD copy will be issued and I can replace it. In the meantime, I recommend you to try and hunt down this high art shocker as I think it is one of the best movies made in the 70s. Highly imaginative, beautifully filmed, skilfully directed and very disturbing, once you see it, you will always remember it.
June 24, 2011
Artsy, sexy and slightly pretentious adaptation of John Ford's play in which an Italian brother and sister fall in love but their romance is thwarted when she becomes pregnant and must marry another man. Melodrama pursues right thru the bloody finale. Although it's set in the 1600's it feels very much like the early 1970's and that's not neccessarily a bad thing.
½ January 12, 2010
Terrible. But worth seeing a young, beautiful Charlotte Rampling.
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