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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Nino Manfredi is the father suffering from vignettes from a marriage, saddled with a terrific wife (Leslie Caron) whose nagging family won't stay out and whose reproductive system won't stop reproducing. It's just after World War II, and the family is arguing over trivial things (like the end of the European monarchy system following the war) and differences between the two families. It's a great marriage, but living too close to the very matriarchal wife's side of the family threatens to tear down their marriage, simply by tossing the hard working Manfredi to the dude.

    While Caron obviously provides her own voice here, in many cases (particularly the voices of the children), the dubbing is really bad. Manfredi is subject to the intrusion of strangers in his own home, while the big hearted Caron simply tries to please everybody. The selfish children are nerve grating, while some of the dubbing sounds like cartoon voices.

    This is pretty entertaining considering the familiarity of the story, and it is a reminder of how poor dad always ends up getting the shaft when children start coming into the relationship. At times, they don't even sound like children with their direct demands and uninnocent selfishness. Call this "How to survive fatherhood and the matriarchy in one easy lesson".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Leslie Caron has an earthy, mature, Sophia Loren-esque sensuality about her in this film, and her "breakdown" scene near the end is a riveting piece of acting. Other than her, "The Head Of The Family" is an episodic, mostly dull and pointless "social comedy", chronicling the lives of an idealistic couple of architects in post-WWII and post-monarchy Italy, from their initial meeting as students to their marriage, their four kids, the husband's brief affair with an attractive journalist ("Thunderball"'s Claudine Auger, who despite her third billing has only a small part here), etc. The script is choppy and establishes no sense of time; in one scene Manfredi and Caron share their first kiss, two scenes later they already have three kids! I do have to quote the one funny (dubbed) line of the film, though: kid - "I put the thermometer 5 minutes in my mouth and 5 minutes in my rectum", dad - "I hope you put it in your mouth first", kid - "No". * out of 4.