Best Movies by Farr

Seven Beauties

Seven Beauties Poster
Seven Beauties Poster

Released

1976

Runtime

116

Seven Beauties

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What's it About

This pitch-black comedy set during the Second World War follows the exploits of Pasqualino Settebelleze (Giannini), a petty thief in Naples who disingenuously labors to protect the honor of his seven ugly, overweight sisters. When a pimp turns out his older sibling Concettina (Fiore), Pasqualino dismembers the man. Eventually, after a ghastly stint at an asylum, he lands on the front, where the horrors of the fascist war are even more bizarre and grotesque than the prison madhouse.

Why we love it

A wildly chaotic farce by Europe's pioneering female director, Wertmüller's Oscar-nominated "Beauties" begins with a montage of war footage sarcastically narrated by an unseen observer. Then we meet Giannini's macho Italian crook, a not-so-wholesome Everyman who deserts Mussolini's army only to wind up in a nightmarish concentration camp. Wertmüller's acid commentary on Italian politics and society takes us from the whorehouse to the funny farm, the penitentiary to a prisoner-of-war camp, depicting the lengths Pasqualino will go to stay alive-such as becoming the sex slave of an obese, crop-wielding Nazi commander (Shirley Stoler). Memorably perverse, "Beauties" is a surreal, sardonic look at the absurdity and immorality of war.