Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 7th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, September 20th, 1968
Italian Language Title: La ragazza con la pistola
Approximate running time: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Languages: Italian / English
Director: Mario Monicelli
Writers: Rodolfo Sonego, Luigi Magni
Cinematograper: Carlo Di Palma
Composer: Peppino De Luca
Cast: Monica Vitti, Stanley Baker, Corin Redgrave, Anthony Booth, Carlo Giuffrè, Yutte Stensgaard
Synopsis: A Sicilian woman’s honor is put in jeopardy when she is seduced by a womanizer who flees to England the morning after he took her virginity.
The Girl with a Pistol was directed by Mario Monicelli who’s other notable films include, Big Deal on Madonna Street, Boccaccio ’70 (segment “Renzo e Luciana”), The Organizer and Casanova 70. Key collaborators on The Girl with a Pistol include, screenwriter Rodolfo Sonego (Satyricon, A Brief Vacation), cinematographer Carlo Di Palma (The Assassin, Blow-Up), editor Ruggero Mastroianni (Conversation Piece, Fellini’s Casanova) and composer Peppino De Luca (Dorian Grey, The Man with Icy Eyes). The Girl with a Pistol was nominated for an academy award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1969.
Italian cinema has a knack for finding humor in serious subject matter and approaching in a farcical manner. Case in point, The Girl with a Pistol a film that takes subject matter like virtue and turns it on its head. At the heart of this film is a story about a young woman named Assunta who virtue is called into question and the only way she can redeem herself in the eyes of her family is by killing the man responsible. And though this is the event which sets her journey in motion, by the end of this film her transformation is what ultimately makes what has just unfolded all the more potent.
From a production stand point, this is a film excels in every way. The visuals do a superb job capturing the scenic landscapes that are featured throughout this film. And when it comes to this film’s leading lady Monica Vitti, this film ensure that she always looks stunning. Standout moments visually include, a scene where Assunta is working for a Scottish couple as a maid and during one of their parties she gets a phone call from Vincenzo, the man who took her virtue. She takes to him in Italian and the wife who employed her translates what she is saying to Vincenzo. Another stand out moment is a scene where Assunta is about to get married and a Doctor who she has become friendly with reveals a secret about her fiancé by taking her to a gay bar his previous lover frequents.
The entire cast are great in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being, Monica Vitti (L’Eclisse, Modesty Blaise) in the role of Assunta Patanè. Her comedic timing is pitch perfect. Other performances of note include, Stanley Baker (Zulu, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin), in role of a Dr. Tom Osborne and Carlo Giuffrè (The Railroad Man, Poker in Bed) in the role of Vincenzo Macaluso, a womanizer who somehow always stays just one step ahead of death.
The only release that I know of is a Italian DVD release via Warner Brothers.