Sog.: based on the novel Au bord du lit (1883) by Guy de Maupassant. Scen.: Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Luchino Visconti. F.: Giuseppe Rotunno. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Mario Garbuglia. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Romy Schneider (Pupe), Tomas Milian (conte Ottavio), Romolo Valli (avvocato Zacchi), Paolo Stoppa (avvocato Alcamo). Prod.: Carlo Ponti, Tonino Cervi per Cineriz, Concordia Compagnia Cinematografica, Francinex, Gray-Film. DCP. Col.
I really like the Il lavoro episode in Boccaccio ’70. I think of it as a sketch of the character of a modern woman, like many that I know, above all in Milanese society: a modern woman who places great importance on money, luxury, cars, a box at the Scala, and all these kinds of things, and does not really care about the truly important things in life. I have been admonished for the emotional moment that she goes through at the end. I think it is consistent with the character. The moment in which she feels almost offended by the fact that her husband pays her is like a moment of pity for herself, and not for the more general situation, which she doesn’t understand at all. It’s like the characters in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard; they allow the garden and the cherry trees to be sold without realising that the sale represents ruin – the ruin of a milieu and a society, and not simply of one character. In short, it is the playful moral vendetta of a loving young wife betrayed by her husband’s costly expenditure on ‘shares on the sexual stock exchange’. The rooms, the grey velvet couches, the authentic 18th-century French library in oak, the abstract paintings by Domietta Hercolani, everything that Rotunno’s camera captures represents the world in which the characters live. It is a cold and precious world, lacking the soul that Tomas Milian and Romy Schneider search for but never manage to obtain.
Luchino Visconti, “Filmcritica”, n. 159-160, August-September 1965