After twenty years of marriage, art professor Nino Rolfe attempts to break down his wife Teresa's conventional modesty. Noticing her affection for their daughter's fiancé, Nino instigates her sexual interest in him as well. This sets off a chain of unexpected events and emotional complications, as Nino and his unpredictable fascist daughter find that they both enjoy being jealous.
|Original Title||:||La chiave|
|Release Date||:||October 18, 1983|
|Production Company||:||San Francisco Film, Selenia Cinematografica, International Video Service|
|Director||:||Tinto Brass, Carla Cipriani|
|Writers||:||Tinto Brass, Jun'ichirô Tanizaki|
|Casts||:||Stefania Sandrelli, Franco Branciaroli, Frank Finlay, Barbara Cupisti, Maria Grazia Bon, Gino Cavalieri, Piero Bortoluzzi, Irma Veithen, Milly Corinaldi, Giovanni Michelagnoli, Armando Marra, Eolo Capritti, Maria Pia Colonnello, Edgardo Fugagnoli, Luciano Gasper, Osiride Pevarello, Sara Tagliapietra, Mirella Zardo, Pietro Lorenzoni, Arnaldo Momo, Paolo Biagetti, Tinto Brass, Gianfranco Bullo, Marina Cecchetelli|
|Plot Keywords||:||male nudity, female nudity, sexual obsession, bathroom, sex, adultery, based on novel, jealousy, wife husband relationship, infidelity, obsession, dance, fascism, nudity, diary, seduction, orgasm, underwear, funeral, kiss, fondling, remake, pubic hair, perversion, sexual fantasy, sexploitation, lingerie, sexual attraction, cheating wife, unfaithfulness, cheating husband, sexual tension, cross dressing, falling in love, photograph, older man younger woman relationship, church, lust, photo shoot, desire, extramarital affair, sensuality, sexual desire, cunnilingus, softcore, female masturbation, mysterious woman, stripping, foreign language adaptation, obsessive love, cuckold, public urination, man with glasses, praying, pearl necklace, looking at self in mirror, cameraman, exhibitionism, slip the undergarment, young wife, garter, sexual exploration, flashback, erotic movie, cheat on wife, adulteress, erotic fantasy, exhibitionist, man and woman in a bed, reference to benito mussolini, adulterer|
A main female character sums up this pile of narrative nonsense at the conclusion of the film saying something like, "I was faithful by being unfaithful." Meaning she was compliant in her husband's wishes for her to link up with their son-in-law so her horny husband could become sexually excited by watching her, thus sparking their marriage alive again. Set against Mussolini's rise to power in 1940s Italy, I suppose auteur Tinto Brass is trying to make some haughty comment on how the Italian populace of the time, repressed by Catholic guilt, succumbed to Il Duce's desire for them to fall faithfully in line with Italian pride and become unfaithful from the moral direction of the Church. Who knows really, because Brass is more concerned with Stefania Sandrelli's derriere than he is about political/spiritual ambivalence.
Alas, Mr. Brass' focus on lead actress Sandrelli's bottom is the only theme you're bound to come away with after viewing an hour and 50 minutes of this soft-core cornfest. British thesp Frank Finlay takes a leap at a starring role by heading south to Italy and being forced to look every bit the dirty old man under the meticulous kink direction by Brass. As the premature, if you will, hubby in this standard menage a trois, he can only last a matter of seconds in the sack with his much younger wife, played by the suitably stunning Sandrelli. It is only when he becomes jealous over his wife's attentions to his son-in-law, played with robot-amateur woodenness by Franco Branciaroli, that Finlay becomes excited enough to maintain another kind of woodenness. By drugging his wife into a fitful slumber and picture-posing her in various open positions for photo-ops, Frank cements our disgusted feeling that we are somehow watching the actual sad home life of the Italian Pinto, Tinto.
While nowhere near as decadent as "Caligula," "La Chiave" has that movie's ability to make you want to take a cleansing shower afterwards to wash its depressing, sleazy drivel off your conscience. Once we learn the designs of Finlay's ho-hum plan, in the first 20 minutes, all we're left with is countless meandering soft-focus shots of Sandrelli and Branciaroli strolling around Venice, fornicating in their hideaway lair, and Finlay foppishly sniffing after her like a pheremone-obsessed hounddog.
The fast-forward button won't help you on this one. You'll be woefully buzzing through a flick that has no worthwhile stopping point. My rating: 0 out of ****.