Filmbar70 loves Edwige Fenech
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Uploaded on Jul 3, 2010
Filmbar70 is proud to celebrate one of the most talented and beautiful actresses' to have ever graced the silver screen. Mistress of the sex comedy, Queen of the giallo and the definitive first lady of Italian exploitation cinema, Edwige is the most beloved of all the female icons that flourished during the region's cinematic excess of the 1970's.
She effortlessly combined intoxicating beauty, delightful charm, sparkling intelligence and generous sensuality; attributes understood and underscored with knowing humor and enhanced with an uninhibited approach to often risqué material.
Born in Bona Constantine on Christmas Eve 1948 as Edwige Sfenek, her entry into the world of cinema was via the usual route: beauty contests followed by modelling assignments, inevitably leading to small parts in European co-productions.
Her first film of note was the perverse 'Top Sensation' ('69), an outrageous attack on capitalist foibles. In the slight but stylish 'Five Dolls for an August Moon' ('70), Edwige played a similar character; a frolicking sex kitten heading for an ironic pay off.
During the coming decade a number of films produced by her then paramour Luciano Martino and directed by his brother Sergio would propel her into the realm of national star and transform her into an eternal cult icon,
Constructed entirely as showcase for Edwige, 'The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh' ('71) presents an interesting character with an underlying dichotomy: a strong, independent woman with a predilection for sado-masochistic relationships. Edwige threw herself into the role with absolute abandon, charting the decent from sassy fashionista into fearful neurotic with compelling intensity. The urban gothic and domestic paranoia of 'All the Colors of the Dark' ('72) saw Edwige at her most beleaguered, constantly quivering on the verge of a psychotic fugue. She made the unusual foray into the world of the femme fatale in 'Your Vice is a Locked Door and Only I have the Key' ('72), seducing male and female alike with predatory delight, excelling in the role of manipulative minx.
She was to appear in two other giallos outside team Martino, the lightweight but fun 'The Case of the Bloody Iris' ('72), and the blatantly entitled 'Strip Nude for your Killer' ('75).
A film of particular interest during this period is 'Anna, the Pleasure, the Torment' ('73). A crime thriller from the perspective of the female, 'Anna' was devised to highlight Edwige's dramatic range. While certainly being unusual and interesting, the film was not a financial success and hopes to forge a career around more 'serious' material were abandoned.
It was in the realm of the sex comedy that Edwige was to make her most prolific contribution to Italian cinema, a genre that played to Edwige's strength as a comedienne and one that celebrated her natural charisma.
The first major success in this field was the Decamerotic 'Ubalda, all naked and warm' ('72), whose takings far out stripped 'Wardh' and her offspring. 'Giovannona long-thigh' ('73) also chimed with audiences, but the most lucrative of the sex comedies was 'L'insegnante' ('75), a veritable storm of political incorrectness and the first of Edwige's many 'authoritarian' roles, the finest example being 'La Pretora' ('76).
Edwige's physical comedic aptitude was fully explored in 'Taxi Girl' ('77) and the series of 'Policewoman' ('75, '79, '81) films, where the emphasis was not on sex, but visual humour. Showcasing Edwige's command of slap-stick comedy and placing her firmly in the centre of the action, she finally got the opportunity to get stuck in as much as the boys.
Toward the end of the '70's through to the early '80's, Edwige's career continued in a similar vein, stand-outs being the gender war comedies 'Cattivi Pensieri' ('76) and 'The Virgin, the Bull and the Capricorn' ('77), but the doors were closing on the Italian film industry.
After 'Vacanze in America' ('85), over 70 films in fewer than 18 years, Edwige called a halt to her acting career.
Unforgettable, talented and outright gorgeous, Edwige's star blazed brilliantly during the most incredible period of exploitation film-making, and enriched the screen like no other.
Filmbar70 loves Edwige Fenech!
Certainly not safe for works, or the kiddies!
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