1975 • Italy • Directed by Luigi Comencini
An odious architect is beaten to death and a high society wife (Jacqueline Bisset, Day for Night) and her gay friend (Jean-Louis Trintignant, The Conformist) are the key suspects with a discarded letter implicating them in the crime. Commissioner Santamaria (Marcello Mastroianni, Fellini’s 8 ½) is assigned to the case and tries to uncover the murder suspect in upper-class Turin. With a murder mystery narrative worthy of Agatha Christie, The Sunday Woman is also a sharp critique of Turin’s upper crust. The screenplay, by the celebrated duo Age & Scarpelli, famed for their masterpieces in the Commedia all’Italiana boom including Big Deal on Madonna Street and The Organizer, is a whip-smart adaptation of the best-selling novels by Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini with the lead character of Santamaria inspired by the real-life head of the Flying Squad. The much-heralded director Luigi Comencini (Misunderstood) often worked in a combination of comedy and drama, finding humour in tragedy, and is only waiting to be rediscovered as a master of post-war Italian cinema.