A French/Italian co-production with two episodes from Italy and five from France covering the seven deadly sins---actually eight as two of the sins are covered in one episode while a new "... See full summary »
In the sixth century Pope Gregory gave a name to our daily trangressions thereby increasing our sense of guilt without which Religion cannot function.
The Seven Deadly Sins represent a perfect vehicle for what is commonly referred to as the 'Portmanteau Film' which is designed to entice audiences with the prospect of seeing a series of mini-films for the price of one. Films of this type are generally better when there is one director throughout as the diversity of directorial styles can be frustrating.
This one is a mixed bag in which five French segments succeed in making Sin rather 'chic' whilst the two Italian neo-realist episodes simply make it seem unpleasant.
'Envy' is based upon a story by Colette and is directed by puppet-master Roberto Rossellini. True to form he has cast as a painter a real painter named Orfeo Tamburi whose acting is atrocious. In the segment depicting 'Anger' the near maniacal performance by Isa Miranda is mesmerising. The 'Sloth' episode proves once again that Comedy seldom travels well and the 'Lust' segment is alas a damp squib. In episode 5 Henri Vidal prefers cream cheese to the delicious Claudine Dupuis but his lean, muscular physique makes him unconvincing as a glutton. By far the best episode is 'Pride' directed by Claude-Autant Lara whose trademark bitterness is to the fore and featuring great performances from Michele Morgan, Francoise Rosay and Jean Debucourt.
By combining two sins in the Edouardo de Filippo segment the makers have cleverly introduced a fascinating episode, well directed by Georges Lacombe, devoted to an 'unknown' eighth sin which is basically that of our own imagining.
As a carnival barker we have the marvellous Gérard Philippe who serves as a link man. One wonders who directed his scenes.
By all accounts this film was tremendously popular when first released but has not fared well with the passage of time whereas Sin is of course for all the ages!