Slick dissection of the haute bourgeoisie in Italy, this is one of Maselli's best works. Centred around a ravishing Cardinale, the film is composed largely of interior shots and elegant camerawork. The 'incestuous' self-reference of the family is apposite as a metaphor for the blasé attitude of modernity and of love's painful compromises due to status. Not a masterpiece, but surely an attractive film.
Formulaic conceit of late drama: An embattled aristocratic family faces foreclosure from an ancestral home. Yet even when the seduction of an aristocrat (Claudia Cardinale) is on the cards, Maselli can't stiffen his tropes: characters plod in a bog of fatalism. Even the opportunist presiding is too blasé to gloat about his own exquisite machinations: Anticlimax holds sway in a household of pushover & put-upon women.