New Digital Restoration

Seven Beauties


Widely acclaimed as Lina Wertmüller’s masterpiece, Seven Beauties earned four Oscar nominations, making her the first female director ever nominated for Best Director. Raunchy, grotesque, paradoxically beautiful, and darkly, deliberately transgressive in both its pathos and its comedy, the film is the saga of an amoral punk’s passion to live at any cost, a shocking sketch of Holocaust horror, and a searing moral statement.

“A handbook for survival, a farce, a drama of almost shattering impact … a disorderly epic, seductively beautiful to look at, as often harrowing as it is boisterously funny.” — Vincent Canby, New York Times

Pasqualino (Giancarlo Giannini), a swaggering, cravenly macho peacock of a Neapolitan would-be gangster, thinks to defend the honor of his seven dimwit sisters with a bungled murder, putting him on the road to misfired adventures as an army deserter and a Nazi death-camp prisoner. Selling his soul for a chance at life, this sullied hero seeks his escape by seducing the monstrous female camp warden (Shirley Stoler) in a sequence that stands as one of Wertmüller’s most controversial expressions of the link between sex and power. (Dir. by Lina Wertmüller, 1975, Italy, In Italian, German, Neapolitan and Spanish with English subtitles, 115 mins., Not Rated)