Woman Times Seven
|Woman Times Seven|
|Directed by||Vittorio De Sica|
|Produced by||Arthur Cohn
Joseph E. Levine
|Written by||Cesare Zavattini|
|Music by||Riz Ortolani|
|Distributed by||Embassy Pictures|
Woman Times Seven (Sette Volte Donna in Italian) is a 1967 Italian/French/American co-production anthology film of seven different episodes, all starring Shirley MacLaine, most of them based on aspects of adultery.
Leading a walking funeral procession behind the hearse containing the remains of her late husband, a widow is propositioned by her family doctor (Peter Sellers). Vittorio De Sica has a cameo as one of the mourners.
Maria Teresa/Amateur Night
Surprised at finding her husband (Rossano Brazzi) in bed with her best friend, a shocked wife vows to have sex with the first man she sees as revenge. She meets a flourish of strumpets who help her accomplish her goal.
Linda/Two Against One
Ignored by her bestselling author husband (Lex Barker), who is only interested in his fictional female creation Simone, a neglected wife turns her visions of herself as Simone into reality. Her shocked husband invites a psychiatrist (Robert Morley) to dinner to examine her for mental illness, but the husband, guest, and housekeeper (Jessie Robins) insist that the guest is a lawyer.
Eve/At the Opera
A fashion queen is horrified when her archrival Mme Lisari (Adrienne Corri) has been photographed in what her husband (Patrick Wymark) had promised was an exclusive creation for her alone. When asking her archrival not to wear it encourages her to do the opposite, the head of research and development in her husband's fashion house suggests planting a bomb in her archrival's car. Louis Alexandre Raimon has a cameo as himself.
Two lovers, feeling rejected by the world, decide on committing suicide in their small room, dressed for the wedding they will never have. Fred (Alan Arkin), however, is afraid of pills, doesn't want to mess up his tuxedo by jumping out of the window, and doesn't trust Marie to use his father's pistol on him in case she only wounds him, or kills him and changes her mind.
Two friends meet for lunch on a winter afternoon. They notice a handsome but seedy-looking man (Michael Caine) who appears to be following them. Claudie (Anita Ekberg) suggests the two leave the restaurant and go their separate ways to see which one of them he follows. As Paris is hit by a sudden blizzard, Jeanne realises that the man is following her.
Woman Times Seven was the first of what was projected to be three films made by Joseph E. Levine, producer Arthur Cohn and Vittorio De Sica working together. As Levine and De Sica had a critical and financial success with the films Marriage Italian-Style and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Levine asked De Sica for a similar film. De Sica's collaborator Cesare Zavattini had some sketches lying about; they turned these into the movie. The first choice for the lead role, Natalie Wood, turned the film down.
The concepts of adultery in the film have a European flavor. In the film, Vittorio Gassman reminds Clinton Greyn that divorce was, at the time of filming, impossible for an Italian.
Lord Lucan, later to be suspected of murder, unsuccessfully screentested for a role in the film; after that failure he decided to turn down an audition from Cubby Broccoli for the part of James Bond.
- Cardullo, Bert Vittorio De Sica: Director, Actor, Screenwriter (2002), McFarland, p.180
- Hallowell, John The Truth Game (1969), Simon and Schuster, p. 150
- Moore, Sally Lucan: Not Guilty (1987), Sidgwick & Jackson Limited, pp. 72–73