Nov 19, 2020 in Analysis


Analysis on One Social Conscience Film from the 20th Century

The Most Beautiful Wife is one of the most touching movies that are possible to see. The movie was directed in Italy by Damiano Damiani. This movie was the first experience of magnificent Ornella Muti that referred to be a symbol of Italian cinema. The movie raises such issues as rehabilitating marriage that was frequent in post-war Italia, as well as the influence of mafia. The movie was based on real facts, on the true story of Franca Viola, who refused to get married with a man who raped her. This movie is definitely one of the most touching and influential movies of the 20th century.


The movie referrers to classic italian movies. The main heroine was played by legendary Ornella Muti. It was her debut where she showed the full range of her acting talents; after this movie she became a movie star in Italy. In addition, in the movie were involved other not less significant actors as Alessio Orano, Tano Cimarosa, and many others. The music of the movie reflects the mood of the story and feelings of main characters. Ennio Morricone is one of the most significant musicians of the 20th century wrote the music for this movie. The production company where the movie was directed is Explorer Film '58. The movie was released in 1970, and the case of Franca Viola on which the story based occurred earlier in 1965.

The main social problem that was reflected in this movie is the question of rehabilitating marriages that were frequent in post-war Italy. Rehabilitating marriage is a marriage between a woman and her offender, the main goal of which to protect the offender of imprisonment and the victim of dishonor. The case, on which the story was based, occurred in 1965, in Sicilia. Franca Viola was a 17-year old daughter of poor farmers and was the first woman that refused torehabilitate marriage. The man, who kidnapped her and constantly raped about 18 days, was refused by her as she was in love with another young man. However, the offender did not stop and decided to rape her as he believed that she will marry him to avoid dishonor. Franca refused to marry him, and, moreover, promised him to convict him in the police. She started her battle against this unfair, and society in general. Even her family did not cause enough support to her as they did not believe that something could be changed as her offender had connections with the mafia, and mafia had connections with the police. Consequently, she won this battle, during of which she found many supporters and followers, and justice became on her side. The offender was imprisoned in more than ten years (Pirro). Franco became famous, and people referred to her as to heroine since she made the first steps in emancipation. This case showed an injustice not only according to women, but also according to classes, where rich people, especially members of the mafia could make terrible crimes without fair punishment (Who was Franca Viola?).

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The plot of the story has many similarities to compare with Francos case; however, there are some differences. The main heroine is also young, beautiful, and self-confident 15-year old Francesca. She lives in Sicilia with her parents, and her family is not rich. The man Vito who decided to marry her is a member of mafia; he is young, ambitious, and handsome young man and the decision to marry was made by the advice of Mafias boss. The advice was to marry young and beautiful girl from the poor family as she will listen to him and make everything he wants. That was the reason why he decided to pick poor and beautiful girl Francesca. However, he did not know about her self-esteem and pride. The main difference of this story to compare with Francos case is that, despite Franco, Francesca felt in love with Vito at the first time she just did not want to become his toy that was the reason why she refused to marry him. For such selfish and vainglorious young man it was a personal insult. Vito did not want to lose his face among his peers, and he decided to punish this girl and take what he wants. First, he burned her familys house and also dishonored her. Then, he wanted to make her marry him, and as a protagonist Franco she started the battle. The movie showed the pressure and power of Mafia in Sicilia as people lost their faith in justice and did not believe that it is possible to change something. Francesca made all that is possible to fight for her rights, and consequently she won this battle and found supporters. She was a brave young girl who won the struggle with not only her offender, but also the whole society and its unfair norms (Boer).

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In post-war Italy rehabilitating marriages were well-spread. A man who was refused by the girl could kidnap this girl and rape. As in society of post-war Italy, especially in small towns or villages, a woman who lost her virginity before marriage referred as dishonored and even cases with rape did not count. Consequently, many women had to marry a man who raped them, and men who were refused in marriage used the rehabilitating marriage to make them get married. Even the cases of rape referred as the crime against social morality, but not against the particular victim (Megahey). However, this issue is deeper than it seems because it reflects the role of women in society of post-war Italy, where men wanted almost to enslave women to their need. In addition, women were pressed by the society according their personal life where they did not have enough freedom, and rights. A main heroine of this movie had a choice to fight or to destroy her life. One of the most significant scenes in the movie is her meeting with another woman who was raped by her present husband. In order not to become a dishonored woman she agreed to marry him but was very unhappy all her life. Francesca asked her how could she agreed to marry her offender, and the woman replied that, at first, she was crying, but she got her life and agreed with it, and she added that she is a woman and this is her destiny. The last words like reflected the destinies of women, where they cannot make a choice and have freedom and consequently live their lives in struggle, pressure and unhappiness. However, Francesca did not want to accept this life, and she struggled against it, she struggled for her life.

In conclusion, The Most Beautiful Wife is one of the most touching movies and one of the most significant movies of Italian cinema. The movie is based on the true story and describes the battle of a young Sicilian woman who was dishonored by the member of the Mafia and the whole society in general. The movie touched social themes that must be changed and influence the opinion of the whole society. Those themes referred to the issues of rehabilitating marriages and the injustice of Mafia, as well as womens rights and freedoms. This movie is a good example of how art can influence the society and help in making the needed changes.


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