Mia moglie, un corpo per l’amore (1973)

My Wife, A Body to Love gets at one of the major issues of the May and September romance. Paolo (Silvano Tranquilli, Castle of Blood) is married to the much younger Simona (Antonella Murgia) and when his stamina isn’t enough, she’s cheating on him with Marco (Peter Lee Lawrence, who was mostly in Italian westerns). The strange thing is, Paolo thinks life is a game and decides to just let this one act itself out. In fact, he even permits her to have sex with Marco but not fall in love.

Or does he? As all three go on a beach vacation, he suddenly starts thinking differently about his wife. He keeps telling her how he’ll stay in control of her and allow her to have sex with men of his choice. You get the idea that — look, the sex scenes are pretty chaste, so don’t get too excited — that he savors making love with his wife after the men she sleeps with and gets off when she tells him how much better they were than him.

But he’s in control, he keeps telling her.

Maybe he’s telling himself.

Go figure — the fantasies of men are impotent when faced with the reality of a woman who finds agency and discovers she can do well enough by making her own way.

Mario Imperoli died young — he was only 46 when he expired in 1977 — and he made a great crime movie, Like Rabid Dogs, as well as the sex comedies Blue JeansThe Sweet Aunts and Monika, the crime films Canne mozze (written by George Eastman) and Sawed Off Shotgun, as well as the incest drama Quella strana voglia d’amare (also written by Eastman).

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