Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1971) watch incest cult movie

MoCuishle

Directed by: Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Oliver Tobias, Fabio Testi
Language: English
Country: Italy

Also known as: Addio fratello crudele

DescriptionAnnabella marries Soranzo, when she is pregnant by her brother Giovanni. Destiny, and jealousies will expose her past, and Soranzo broods revenge. But he is not alone in that – and death will unite all.

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore’ is the story of a passionate and romantic love between brother and sister Giovanni (Oliver Tobias) and Annabella (Charlotte Rampling), and the ensuing havoc when, pregnant, she marries an arrogant nobleman (Fabio Testi). Writer/director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi freely adapted his screenplay from John Ford’s Jacobean tragedy. His film is highly personal and exquisitely conceived, with a radiant cast. Released in 1971, it has been available here only in a frustratingly truncated, coarsely edited, 91-minute, full-screen VHS version dubbed in English.

With some effort it can now be found in a 100-minute, wide-screen DVD version in Italian, with optional Japanese subtitles – but no English. If you know and love this film as I do, you won’t care. You will revel in the sheer beauty of its design, photography, and cast (including Antonio Falsi as Giovanni’s friend and confessor). Illustrative of writer/director Griffi’s vision and eye is his creation of such a ravishing ensemble. All simply exude youthful animal magnetism and appeal.

The violence is typical of a tragedy of this period with subjects like incest, blasphemy, obsession, and revenge. Suffice it to say, the 17th Century was not a time when such things were taken lightly! But there are many moments of great poetry as well. Allegory and symbolism abound and, as Oliver Tobias (a major British sex symbol) never looked so extraordinary, Maestro Griffi unabashedly exploits the actor’s resemblance to a suffering Christ throughout his gorgeous, breathtaking film.

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