Commedia sexy all'italiana

The commedia sexy all'italiana ("sex comedy Italian style"), also known as commedia scollacciata or commedia erotica all'italiana, is a subgenre of Italian commedia all'italiana film genre.


Commedia sexy is characterized typically by abundant female nudity, and by the minimal weight given to social criticism that was instead basic in the commedia all'italiana main genre,[1] and stories are often set in affluent environments such as wealthy households. The genre has been described as a cross between bawdy comedy and humorous erotic film with ample slapstick elements and follows more or less clichéd storylines.


This subgenre has its roots in several different series of films. The "mondo film" genre popularized nudity, shifting the limits of what could be shown in the Italian cinema. A series of successful "italian style comedies" of the sixties (such as Pietro Germi's Signore & Signori and Dino Risi's Vedo nudo) focused on Italian hypocrisy and shame about sexual taboos, popularizing sex-based plots. Pier Paolo Pasolini's "trilogy of life" (The Decameron (1971), Canterbury Tales (1972) and Arabian Nights (1974)), clearly inspired by Boccaccio and Chaucer's tales, contained both nudity and sex-based plots, and was successful enough to generate a number of unofficial sequels and spoofs that became collectively known as Decamerotici.[1][2] These spoofs can be considered the first commedia sexy films. The relaxation of Italian censors, beginning from the early seventies, paved the way to dozens of soft-core productions, often set in medieval or renaissance times, even in prehistory, or peasant and rustic environment ("film pecorecci").

The commedia sexy was very successful commercially between the 1970s and early 1980s, although it was generally panned by critics (with a few exceptions such as several comedies starring Lando Buzzanca), and then declined when female nudity became common in Italian mainstream cinema, television and magazines and when pornographic films became more widely available.[1]


The commedia sexy launched the career of several actresses, including Edwige Fenech, commonly considered the star of the genre; Gloria Guida, the staple lead actress of coming-of-age films and the popular La liceale series in the mid-1970s; and Nadia Cassini who was publicised as an heiress to Fenech in the late 1970s. Many actresses who had earlier success in other genres were seen passing to commedia sexy and becoming well-known exponents, such as Femi Benussi in the mid-1970s, Barbara Bouchet in the late 1970s and Carmen Russo in the early 1980s, a period when the genre was starting to fade in popularity.

The genre is also effectively identified with prominent male comedians including Lino Banfi, Pippo Franco, Alvaro Vitali, and Renzo Montagnani.[1][2]

Selected filmography

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Peter E. Bondanella. A history of Italian cinema. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2009. ISBN 978-1441160690.
  2. 1 2 Michele Giordano, Daniele Aramu. La commedia erotica italiana. Gremese Editore, 2000. ISBN 888440035X.

Further reading

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