Profumo di donna (Scent of a Woman). 1974. Italy. Directed by Dino Risi. Screenplay by Dino Risi, Ruggero Maccari. With Vittorio Gassman, Agostina Belli, Alessandro Momo. In Italian; English subtitles. 103 min.
In Risi’s Oscar-nominated box-office hit—remade in an American version with Al Pacino in 1992—Vittorio Gassman plays a lecherous cad (as only he can), but the carefree exuberance he showed in The Easy Life shades here, some 20 years later, into mercilessly funny misanthropy. Gassman won Best Actor at Cannes for his performance as the blind military captain who leads a younger sidekick, Ciccio (“Babyfat”), on an amorous (and odiferous) exploration of irresistibly unattainable women. Making his way from Turin to Naples, he encounters a girl who has loved him since childhood. Digital restoration courtesy Cineteca Nazionale.