jump to navigation

Profumo di Donna (Scent of a Woman)-Movie Review 12/09/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Based on a novel, Dark Comedy, Drama, Italian language film, Movies.

Profumo di donna (Italian) 1974
The original Scent of a Woman
Based on the novel, Il buio e il miele (Darkness and Honey) by Giovanni Arpino

Among other awards and nominations:
Winner, Best Actor (Gassman); Best Director, David di Donatello (Italian equivalent of Academy Awards)
Winner, César Award for Best Foreign Film
Winner, Best Actor Award (Gassman), Cannes Film Festival
Nominated, Best Foreign Film; Best Adapted Screenplay, Academy Awards

Directed by Dino Risi
Starring Vittorio Gassman, Alessandro Momo, Agostina Belli

I came across the original version of this film and was curious to see how it compared to Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino. Although I liked both versions very much, I’m glad I saw the other one first (see below for info about the 1992 version).

Fausto Consolo (Gassman), a tyrannical former army captain who was blinded and maimed by mishandled explosives, has a plan that requires a journey through Italy. He needs assistance on the trip, and Giovanni Bertazzi (Momo), a young and inexperienced army private, is assigned to be his companion for one week.

The captain’s demanding personality and physical disabilities provide many opportunities for dark humor as the pair make their way through seedy sections of the cities they visit. As Fausto follows the scents of women, indulging his carnal desires, Giovanni (whom Fausto calls Ciccio) provides just the right touch of naiveté and suspicion. Some visits to family and friends are also on the agenda, and finally it is up to Sarah (Belli), a beautiful young woman, to convince Fausto that life is still worthwhile.

A sad side note is that the young Alessandro Momo died in a motorcycle accident shortly after the filming of Profumo. His short career included the Salvatore Samperi films Malizia (Malicious) and Peccato Veniale (Venial Sin).

103 min. Rated R

For more about Italian film star Vittorio Gassman

The 1992 version of Scent of a Woman was directed by Martin Brest and stars Al Pacino as retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade. It contains much more of a subplot concerning Charles (Chris O’Donnell), a prep school student who accompanies Slade on a Thanksgiving weekend visit to New York.

This movie is about one hour longer than the original, allowing time for a bond to develop between Slade and Charles. There is also time for tango dancing and a harrowing Ferrari ride through conveniently deserted NYC streets. Al Pacino’s performance, like that of his predecessor, was extraordinary; it won him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

157 min. Rated R.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: