The Career of a Chambermaid(1976)
This homage to Italy’s “White Telephone” films (sophisticated comedy-dramas revolving around working-class girls) of the 1930s gives Agostina Belli her best role – going from chambermaid to prostitute to singer to film-star to mistress of ‘Il Duce’! – for which she received a special David Di Donatello award, the Italian equivalent of the Oscar. Incidentally, the English title evokes memories of Octave Mirbeau’s ‘scandalous’ novel “Diary Of A Chambermaid” – thrice brought to the screen (in Hollywood in 1946 by Frenchman Jean Renoir, in France in 1964 by Spaniard Luis Bunuel and in 1974, typically as a sexploitationer, by prolific “Euro-Cult” exponent Jess Franco: the latter being the only one I haven’t watched and don’t own in any form). At other points in the narrative, the film also reminded me of A STAR IS BORN (itself filmed several times) and BELLE DE JOUR (1967), Bunuel’s celebrated classy treatment of prostitution…
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