×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Bride’s Journey

A chaste 17th-century bodice-ripper in which the absence of sex is as notable as the lack of plot invention, "The Bride's Journey" leans heavily on the thesping of comic lead Sergio Rubini (who directed) and gracious newcomer Giovanna Mezzogiorno. Though this lush Cecchi Gori production seems designed as family entertainment, it diplomatically co-opened the Venice Film Festival (with Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry") from the European side without loud protest or hosannas. While not an item for sophisticated viewers, pic should have wide enough appeal to recoup handsomely onshore and find scattered foreign takers. The fanciful tale of a crude illiterate who escorts a young noblewoman to her husband-to-be is a surprising turn for Rubini, hailed for his 1990 helming debut, "The Station." Porzia (Mezzogiorno), a spirited innocent with a porcelain face and awe-inspiring wardrobe, is sent off from her convent school in central Italy with the nuns' blessings. Her rich and noble fiance has sent an armed contingent of men led by a dashing captain (Carlo Mucari) to escort the girl to his home in the south. Before auds can tire of cinematographer Italo Petriccione's gorgeous, painterly landscapes, each recognizably inspired by Italian painters of the 1600s, bandits attack the caravan and dispatch the escort. Porzia has only Bartolo (Rubini), a humble young coachman of rough manners and dirty mien, with whom to continue the journey.

With:
Bartolo ..... Sergio Rubini Porzia ..... Giovanna Mezzogiorno Don Diego ..... Umberto Orsini Capt. Palagano ..... Carlo Mucari Antuono ..... Franco Javarone

Their trip on horseback is picturesque and beset with every type of misadventure, from escaping the plague to being taken prisoner by leering soldiers who ogle Porzia’s candid cleavage. World-class seducer Don Diego (veteran thesp Umberto Orsini) makes a stab at her virginity. The only respectful fellow around is Bartolo, who never forgets his charge’s destiny as noble wife and mother. As it often does, a special chemistry develops between lady and stable hand, but fans of the genre will find juicier accounts in the tabloids than Rubini cares to put on the screen. A moralistic finale seals pic as safe family fare.

Making a sparkling screen debut, young stage thesp Mezzogiorno cuts a memorable figure, in strategically loosened bodices and billowing skirts, galloping through the countryside. Wearing long hair and a drooping mustache, Rubini has fun mumbling his lines in imaginary antique dialect, but overdoes the comedy in a role where it would have been better left understated.

Though hardly meant to be realistic, the film has a sharp eye for period detail, particularly probing in photographing the faces of the commoners. Brisk cutting by editor Angelo Nicolini keeps the characters on the move through visually stunning forests, rivers and waterfalls that pleasantly substitute for expensive sets. Germano Mazzocchetti’s rousing score contributes atmosphere.

The Bride's Journey

Italian

Production: A Cecchi Gori Distribuzione release (in Italy) of a C.G. Group Tiger Cinematografica production. (International sales: Cecchi Gori.) Produced by Vittorio and Rita Cecchi Gori. Executive producer, Luciano Luna. Directed by Sergio Rubini. Screenplay, Umberto Marino, Filippo Ascione, Raffaele Nigro, Rubini

Crew: Camera (color), Italo Petriccione; editor, Angelo Nicolini; music, Germano Mazzocchetti; production design, Luca Gobbi; costume design, Maurizio Millenotti; sound (Dolby), Tullio Morgani; choreography, Gianni Santucci. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Midnight Screenings), Aug. 26, 1997. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Bartolo ..... Sergio Rubini Porzia ..... Giovanna Mezzogiorno Don Diego ..... Umberto Orsini Capt. Palagano ..... Carlo Mucari Antuono ..... Franco Javarone

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in a Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Tessa Thompson Nnamdi Asomugha

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha to Star in 'Sylvie'

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are set to star in the feature film “Sylvie.” Eugene Ashe has written the screenplay and will direct with production currently underway. The film is described as a love story set in the cool jazz era of New York City in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. Sylvie (played by Thompson) meets aspiring [...]

  • Night Fury dragon Toothless and Hiccup

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Soaring to $50 Million-Plus Launch

    “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is soaring toward a $53 million launch weekend at 4,259 North American locations, early estimates showed on Friday. That estimate is well above Universal’s forecast in the $40 million range at 4,259 sites — and ahead of its predecessors, 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” which made [...]

  • Actors With Disabilities Deserve a Hollywood

    Dreaming of a Hollywood Ending for Actors With Disabilities (Guest Column)

    Picture a world in which an actor with a disability wins an Academy Award. Sadly, that storyline remains no more than a Hollywood fantasy. In recent years, the #OscarsSoWhite trending hashtag campaign has shed light on the lack of diversity in the movie industry. Yet ahead of this year’s Oscars on Feb. 24, society’s definition [...]

  • Clark Gable III

    Clark Gable's Grandson, Who Hosted 'Cheaters,' Found Dead at 30

    Clark Gable’s grandson, Clark Gable III, died on Friday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Variety confirmed with the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. He was 30. “It’s is with an extremely heavy heart we say goodbye to my beautiful son Clark,” his mother wrote on Instagram. “He passed this morning. I will always [...]

  • You Were Never Really Here If

    Film Independent's Spirit Awards Fly the Flag for Indie Film

    As the 2018 awards season marches slowly into its final days, only a handful of honors remain undistributed after some of the most volatile and contentious campaigns in years. Front-runners have come and gone in one major category after the next, as each guild and critics group announced different winners than its predecessors, demolishing expectations [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content