Commedia sexy is characterized typically by abundant female nudity, and by the minimal weight given to social criticism that was instead basic in the commedia all'italiana main genre, and stories are often set in affluent environments such as wealthy households. The genre has been described as a cross between bawdy comedy and humorous erotic film with ample slapstick elements and follows more or less clichéd storylines.
This subgenre has its roots in several different series of films. The "mondo film" genre popularized nudity, shifting the limits of what could be shown in the Italian cinema. A series of successful "commedia all'italiana" of the sixties (such as Pietro Germi's Signore & Signori (1966) and Dino Risi's Vedo nudo (1969)) focused on Italian hypocrisy and shame about sexual taboos, popularizing sex-based plots.
The commedia sexy was very successful commercially between the 1970s and early 1980s, although it was generally panned by critics (with a few exceptions such as several comedies starring Lando Buzzanca), and then declined when female nudity became common in Italian mainstream cinema, television and magazines, and when pornographic films became more widely available.
Pier Paolo Pasolini's Trilogy of Life (consisting of The Decameron (1971), Canterbury Tales (1972) and Arabian Nights (1974), and inspired by the tales of Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and the One Thousand and One Nights) contained nudity and sex-based plots. The success of these films and the relaxation of Italian censors, beginning from the early 1970s, paved the way for dozens of soft-core productions set in medieval or Renaissance times, collectively known as decamerotici (singular: decamerotico; alternative terms include decameronico and decamerone, as well as boccaccesco). The wave of decamerotici lasted from 1971 (starting with In Love, Every Pleasure Has Its Pain) until the end of 1975, with an early peak in 1972. In total, about 50 decamerotici were produced. They can be considered the first commedia sexy films.
Other very popular subgenres (Italian: sotto-filoni) of the "commedia sexy all'italiana" included high school (Italian: scolastica), military (Italian: militare), hospital (Italian: ospedaliera) and police comedies (Italian: poliziottesca).
The commedia sexy launched the career of several actresses, including Edwige Fenech, commonly considered the star of the genre; Gloria Guida, the staple lead actress of coming-of-age films and the popular La liceale series in the mid-1970s; and Nadia Cassini who was publicised as an heiress to Fenech in the late 1970s. Many actresses who had earlier success in other genres were seen passing to commedia sexy and becoming well-known exponents, such as Femi Benussi in the mid-1970s, Barbara Bouchet in the late 1970s, and glamour models Anna Maria Rizzoli and Carmen Russo in the early 1980s, a period when the genre was starting to fade in popularity.
La poliziotta a New York (internationally released as A Policewoman in New York) is a 1981 commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini. It is the final chapter in the "poliziotta" trilogy directed by Tarantini and starred by Edwige Fenech.Cornetti alla crema
Cornetti alla crema a.k.a. Cream Horn and Creampuffs is a 1981 commedia sexy all'italiana, directed by Sergio Martino.
Edwige Fenech, Lino Banfi and Milena Vukotic are featured in a comedic tale about a couple attempting to elude the woman's jealous boyfriend, a professional football player, as well as the man's wife.Fermo posta Tinto Brass
Fermo posta Tinto Brass is a 1995 Italian comedy film-erotic film directed by Tinto Brass and set in vignettes.Giovannona Long-Thigh
Giovannona Coscialunga disonorata con onore (internationally released as Giovannona Long-Thigh) is a 1973 commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Sergio Martino. The film reteams the two main actors of the 1972 film Quel gran pezzo dell'Ubalda tutta nuda e tutta calda and, as with the previous film, it was very successful commercially. The original title reprises Lina Wertmüller's Mimì metallurgico ferito nell'onore.L'Infermiera
L'Infermiera is a 1975 commedia sexy all'italiana film starring Ursula Andress, Jack Palance and Luciana Paluzzi, also known by the titles I Will If You Will, The Nurse, The Sensuous Nurse and The Secrets of a Sensuous Nurse.La compagna di banco
La compagna di banco is a 1977 commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Mariano Laurenti.La moglie vergine
La moglie vergine, internationally released as At Last, at Last, Valentina... The Virgin Wife and You've Got to Have Heart, is a 1975 Italian commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Marino Girolami (here credited as Franco Martinelli).La portiera nuda
La portiera nuda (The Naked Doorwoman) is a 1976 Italian commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Luigi Cozzi. It starred Irene Miracle and Erika Blanc.Malicious (1973 film)
Malicious (Italian: Malizia) is an Italian comedy. The original title Malizia is Italian for "malice". It was entered into the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival. For their performances Laura Antonelli and Turi Ferro won the Silver Ribbons for best actress and best supporting actor.Man of the Year (1971 film)
Man of the Year (Italian: Homo Eroticus, also known as Husband, Italian Style) is a 1971 Italian commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Marco Vicario. The film was a blockbuster at the Italian box office.My Sister in Law
La Pretora (literally The Magistrate; released as My Sister In Law in the United Kingdom), is a 1976 Italian commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Lucio Fulci, and starring Edwige Fenech. It was never theatrically shown in the USA.Ragazza alla pari
Ragazza alla pari (internationally released as The Best and Au-Pair Girl) is a 1976 commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Mino Guerrini.Scusi lei è normale?
Scusi lei è normale? (i.e. "Pardon Me, Are You Normal?") is a 1979 commedia sexy all'italiana directed by Umberto Lenzi and starring Renzo Montagnani, Ray Lovelock and Anna Maria Rizzoli.Sesso e volentieri
Sesso e volentieri is a 1982 Italian anthology-comedy film directed by Dino Risi. The film consists in ten segments, all starred by Johnny Dorelli and all having sex and sexual perversions as main theme.Sex with a Smile II
Sex with a Smile II (originally titled Spogliamoci così, senza pudor) is a 1976 commedia sexy all'italiana film directed by Sergio Martino. Like its predecessor, Sex with a Smile, it is an anthology sex comedy film with a series of four comedic sketches that parody Italian sexual mores.Spaghetti a mezzanotte
Spaghetti a mezzanotte a.k.a. Spaghetti at Midnight is a 1981 Italian sex comedy, directed by Sergio Martino.Tigers in Lipstick
Tigers in Lipstick (Italian: Letti selvaggi) is a 1979 Italian comedy film directed by Luigi Zampa and starring Ursula Andress. It was Zampa's final film.
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