Il merlo maschio

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Il Merlo Maschio
"The Male Blackbird"
Il merlo maschio.jpg
Directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile
Written by Luciano Bianciardi (from the short story Il complesso di Loth)
Starring Laura Antonelli
Music by Riz Ortolani
Cinematography Silvano Ippoliti
Edited by Mario Morra
Sergio Montanari
Release date
Running time
112 min.
Language Italian

Il merlo maschio (The Male Blackbird), known in United Kingdom as The Naked Cello or Secret Fantasy in USA, is an Italian motion picture, filmed in 1971 by director Pasquale Festa Campanile.


Niccolò Vivaldi (Lando Buzzanca) is a frustrated cello player whose career has stalled and who is unappreciated by his orchestra director. He begins to take photographs of his beloved wife (Laura Antonelli) in poses that gradually became pornographic. Soon after this he begins to show the images to his friend and colleague Cavalmoretti (Lino Toffolo) and in a moment of madness to all the other members of the orchestra. Eventually, he exposes his naked wife (by an apparent accident with her dress) in front of everyone at Verona's Arena during the showing of Aida.



This motion picture was filmed in Verona, and it shows many situations in the environment of practicing symphonic orchestras that at certain moment of the year are allowed to play in Arena. Il Merlo Maschio represents the Commedia all'italiana.

Unlike most Italian comedy films in that epoch, always repeating the storyboards of the first erotic dreams of the symbolic teenager Pierino, or the arousal reactions of secluded soldiers that watch for the first time the shapes of a beauty queen (Gloria Guida, etc.), The Male Blackbird is also a light and discrete sociological presentation of the theme of candaulism, something very frequent today (husbands that buy transparent panties and bras for their wives) but that was very rare at those times: the apparently casual, but carefully planned exposing of the spouse by her husband (Candaulism is classified by psychiatrist as a mania or paraphilia).

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