La Pretora (1976) from ICMS

While researching the career nudity of Edwige Fenech, I noticed that she seemed to show the most skin in La Pretora (1976), a movie directed by Lucio Fulci. Since this film is available on DVD in Italy, I ordered a copy and checked it out. Boy, was I ever right! During the first 18 minutes Edwige unveils nothing, but then she practically can't keep her clothes on for more than five minutes in a row! And it's not just her breasts she's showing, but the full monty.
The movie itself deals with a judge (pretore/a) in a small provincial town in Italy. Edwige Fenech plays judge Viola Orlando, a severe magistrate who is known as a morally strict and uptight woman who can't be bought. Viola's troubles begin while she is handling the case of a con man who tried to sell off cans of dog food as goulash. He comes across a topless woman near a hotel swimming pool whom he thinks is Viola because she looks exactly like her. As he later finds out, this woman is Viola's twin sister Rosa, an easy-going, uninhibited woman who doesn't think about the consequences of her actions. Rosa's main source of income is picking up rich men in hotels and living at their expense for a while, but with our con man, who is penniless, this tactic backfires and she gets into financial strife.
The con man informs Viola's enemies of the twin sister and her troubles, which prompts them to organize an erotic Snow White photoshoot starring Rosa. Since Rosa and Viola look exactly the same, Viola gets in troubled water as everyone in town thinks that she is the one in the pictures. Keep in mind that even now, thirty years later, a naked judge is still a no-no. Furthermore Viola also has a fiancÚ, a somewhat naive count who raises bio-chickens on his estate, and who is disappointed with Viola in bed and would prefer her to be more like her twin sister in that domain. So Viola is now faced with a double challenge: preserving her good name on the one hand, while also becoming more sensuous to prevent losing her fiancÚ. Will she succeed?
All in all this 30-year-old comedy was a pleasant surprise. It has held up fairly well over the years. It's still funny, with plenty of sexual puns and double entendres, many of which were lost to me because my Italian simply isn't good enough. (English subtitles would have been welcome on the DVD.) The camera work is above average, and the actors all seemed to enjoy themselves and put in solid performances. A special mention here must go to Edwige Fenech, who was simply brilliant in the double role of Viola/Rosa. Edwige is a beautiful, classy woman and a good actress who is aware of her talents and enjoys showing them off. Director Lucio Fulci really couldn't have made a better choice to play the female lead role. Add to that a beautiful remastered anamorphic widescreen DVD transfer plus copious nudity by primarily Edwige Fenech and this film is a genre classic!
La Pretora DVD Edwige Fenech Widescreen (1976)

DVD info - click image to the left.



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The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C+.

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