Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 21st, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1983 (The Key), Italy, 1983 (Miranda), Italy, 1992 (All Ladies Do It)
Director: Tinto Brass
Cast: Frank Finlay, Stefania Sandrelli, Franco Branciaroli, Barbara Cupisti (The Key), Serena Grandi, Andrea Occhipinti, Franco Interlenghi, Andy J. Forest, Franco Branciaroli (Miranda), Claudia Koll, Paolo Lanza, Ornella Marcucci, Isabella Deiana, Renzo Rinaldi (All Ladies Do It)
DVD released: September 26th, 2006
Approximate running time: 106 minutes (The Key), 95 minutes (Miranda), 93 minutes (All Ladies Do It)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (All Three Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English (The Key), Dolby Digital Stereo Italian (All Three Films)
DVD Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $59.95
The Key: After noticing his wife Teresa’s interest in their daughters’ fiancée. Nino decides to spice up their sex life by encouraging his wife’s desires for this other man. Things really get complicated when Nino and Teresa find each other’s diaries. This revelation ends up putting additional strains on their already troubled marriage. Will Nino be able to put his jealousy aside or will he let things go so far that there will be no turning back the damage that has been done?
The Key, is a turning point film for Tinto Brass, who previous soft core ventures Salon Kitty and Caligula were more vulgar then sensual. It is also one of his least explicit soft core films as he focuses more on the story and not as much on his favorite part of the body the ass. A humorous scene occurs when Nino imagines his wife with her lover. She tries to remain faithful to her husband as her lover chases her around with a raging hard on making horse like sounds before he runs head on into a mirror.
Performance wise, this is one of the strongest cast that Tinto Brass has worked with to date. With this film’s standout performance coming from Stefania Sandrelli (Divorce Italian Style, Seduced and Abandon) in the role of the film’s protagonist Teresa Rolfe, a attention starved house wife. Legendary composer Ennio Morricone’s provides a score that is filled with sensual and elegant motifs. Ultimately The Key is a mesmerizing tale about jealousy and it is without a doubt Tinto Brass’s best film to date
Miranda: Miranda’s husband is a solider who disappeared during the war. She continues to run an inn while she waits for him to return. She occupies her days and nights while she waits she has a quartet of lovers.
Miranda has all the things that we have come to expect while watching a Tinto Brass film. One thing that sets this film part from other Brass films is the way he allows the lead character Miranda to more dimensional then the women portrayed in his other films. Serena Grandi is a voluptuous actress who with her body and her performance perfectly captures the Miranda character. She brings humanity to the character making her more vulnerable and ultimately likable. Riz Ortalani score is superb with its enchanting melodies. Overall Miranda is one of Tinto Brass more accessible films.
All Ladies Do It: Diana is a sexual promiscuous woman, who often tells her husband Paolo about her various affairs with other men. Paolo has never been the jealous type that is until he finds out about his wife’s latest lover Alphonse, who is obsessed with women’s asses. And one night he becomes the first man to take Diana is the ass. Paolo and Diana get into a fight over Alphonse which leads to one last fling before she returns home to Paola he takes her back unconditionally.
All Ladies Do it, is Tinto Brass’s ode to anal sex and if anyone knows how to build up the thrill of the moment it is Tinto Brass with his ability to showcase women’s asses in the most sensual and creative ways. While watching the film the Alphonse character reminded me a lot of Tinto Brass and how they both obsess over women’s asses. Whether this is just by chance that they are a like or deliberate is anyone’s guess, still the similarities are striking.
Performance wise, outside of this film’s leading lady Claudia Koll in the role of this film’s protagonist Diana. None of the other cast members leave that strong of impression. And while this could prove fatal for most films, it is not the case here, since this film’s leading lady is oozing with charisma. Without a doubt this film’s most disappointing part of this film is the rather pedestrian score for the ever reliable Pino Donaggio (Carrie, Dressed to Kill). Ultimately All Ladies Do it is a celebration about one of the most fascinating areas of a woman’s body. And Tinto Brass once again surprises with his inventiveness and fearlessness to go where so very few filmmakers are willing to go.
Conclusion: Cinema and the internet are filled with hard core films that lack eroticism and feel mechanical is their execution. It is refreshing to see Tinto Brass continue making soft core films that while not as suggestive as their hard core counter parts they are more erotic and sensual. His sense of visual style while provocative never feels deliberate or dirty and there is something pure about the way he explores sexual themes. If you are looking to get off it is best to look elsewhere since there is a deeper meaning and understanding of the subject of sex that runs through out most of his films.
The Key, Miranda and All Ladies Do it all three films are presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratios. All three films exhibit strong colors and details look sharp through out. Print damage is minimal with The Key looking just below the quality of the other two transfers.
The Key is presented in a dual language of Italian and English. The characters alternate between the two through out the film. Miranda is in English and All Ladies do it is in Italian. All three films audio is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. Miranda and All Ladies do it, are free of any hiss or sound defects. The Key has a noticeable hiss through out and the volume may need to be adjusted to hear the dialog better. The Key and All Ladies do it both comes with removable English subtitles.
Extras include trailers for each of the three films included with this set, photo galleries one for each film and filmographies for Tinto Brass, Stefania Sandrelli, Serena Grandi & Claudia Koll. All ladies do it also comes with about nine minutes of outtakes. Each film also comes with an interview with Tinto Brass (in English) who discusses working with actresses, censorship, happy endings, inspiration for his films and so much more.
Cult Epics Tinto Brass collection volume one collects three of his more approachable films making this set a perfect starting point for anyone who is interested in his films. If you are already a fan of Tinto Brass’s style of cinema then this set is a required purchase.