Sog.: Age e Scarpelli. Scen.: Age e Scarpelli, Eduardo De Filippo. F.: Leonida Barboni. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Piero Filippone. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Eduardo De Filippo (cavalier Oreste Mazzillo), Titina De Filippo (Agnese), Peppino De Filippo (Giacomino Scognamiglio), Anna Maria Ferrero (Anna Maria Mazzillo), Delia Scala (Gabriella Mazzillo), Lianella Carell (Gina Mazzillo), Carlo Campanini (Cipriani), Carlo Croccolo (Salvatore), Rosario Borelli (Carlo), Laura Gore (signora Rosa). Prod.: Produzione D. Forges Davanzati per Titanus. 35mm. D.: 92’. Bn.
Oreste Mazzillo (Eduardo De Filippo) works for the ministry and is respected by his superiors, but not by his wife (Titina De Filippo). To raise the family’s standard of living, he allows a friend (Peppino De Filippo) to involve him in risky and illicit business. He also organises a trip to Capri for his daughters (Delia Scala, Lianella Carell and Anna Maria Ferrero) in the hope of engineering a good match or two, but things don’t go according to plan.
Re-watching some of Eduardo’s films of the 50s today, the cruelty of their world becomes obvious – a cruelty which tends towards the grotesque and seems to prefigure certain elements of the soon-to-emerge commedia all’italiana. The two films written with Age and Scarpelli can be read in this way. In Ragazze da marito, with its atmosphere of seaside comedy and youthful pink neorealism, De Filippo has apparently softened, but underneath it retains the figure of the good but inept father already familiar from Natale in casa Cupiello (1931). And at the centre, as always, is a cruel and pathetic family, the hypocrisy of the petit-bourgeoisie, this time in the garb of the Rome-based government. Above all, in this film Eduardo returns to direct Peppino, who, it is by now clear, functions much better on the screen than his more illustrious brother.