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Nudo di Donna

Year: 1981
Production Co: Les Films Marceau-Cocinor
Director: Nino Manfredi
Writer: Nino Manfredi
Cast: Nino Manfredi, Eleonora Giorgi
I can't remember now what made me want to see this film. Being an Italian movie, I probably expected a beautiful and erotic study of desire. Unfortunately it was a lot less Bernardo Bertolucci than Tinto Brass - after the censors had gutted him.

It's a comedy of errors movie about a man and his pretty wife living in Venice. They can't stop arguing, and he moves out to live in a house organised by a friend full of bohemians and artists.

There he sees a portrait of a nude woman from behind (hence the title) that captivates him. Unable to stand the conditions, he returns home to his wife, but can't get the picture of the woman out of his head. That night, spying on his wife as she sleeps, he realise the woman in the picture is just like her, and he comes to believe it is her.

He launches an investigation into who the model was so he can catch his wife out, but instead is led to a local hooker who looks exactly like her but acts different in every other way. As they form an uneasy friendship (punctuated by her seeing him off at the door to her flat with a loud 'fuck off' every time), he becomes convinced she actually is his wife, disguising herself to trick him into loving her again.

The rest of the film is a series of dashes across the city, trying to find shortcuts between his house and her flat to catch his 'wife' arriving to assume her role. We never find out either way, the movie ending on a question, and there's little eroticism or nudity.

It's a very strong idea however and would make a good remake. The period and setting lend themselves to lush cinematography and with two beautiful leads and the right chemistry the sexual tension could set the screen on fire. I think that's what I was hoping for, not a shoddy comedy done by Lucio Fulci by way of Albert Brooks.

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