Movie Review: Woman Times Seven (1967)

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According to Universal’s copy on the DVD sleeve, this Vittorio De Sica movie from 1967 belongs to the Italian classics, but even though Italy and France are involved in the production, this is mainly an American movie, it’s listed as such in most movie guides.

Vittorio De Sica. I guess most people think of THE BICYCLE THIEF when they hear his name. I don’t. I think of one of my favorite movies; Paul Morrissey’s BLOOD FOR DRACULA (made in 1974, the same year De Sica died), in which De Sica is featured as an actor.

WOMAN TIMES SEVEN consists of seven short films on the subject of unfaithfulness. They are ten to twenty minutes long, and they all have Shirley MacLaine in the lead.

…And I really don’t know what to say about this movie. It’s very, very uneven. Some episodes are totally pointless, others are mildly entertaining, like the story in which Lex “Tarzan” Barker is a novelist totally obsessed by his sexy heroines, so much that he forgets about his wife. As a whole, WOMAN TIMES SEVEN is a, well, nice movie, but I sure did expect more from it. Especially with regards to the cast. Have a look at these names:

Peter Sellers
Michael Caine
Anita Ekberg
Lex Barker
Robert Morley
Patrick Wymark
Alan Arkin
Philippe Noiret
Marlon Brando

…And many more. A fun detail: both Sellers and Arkin played inspector Clouseau; but Arkin only in one movie that wasn’t a success.The score is by Riz Ortolani (CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST) and most of the episodes, maybe all of them, take place in Paris.

WOMAN TIMES SEVEN is in English. I wonder how De Sica managed to direct this movie in English. When I interviewed Paul Morrissey, he said that De Sica didn’t know any English at all, and memorized his lines in BLOOD FOR DRACULA phonetically. Maybe that’s the reason WOMAN TIMES SEVEN ended up lukewarm?


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