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La Chiave (1983)

This film was directed by the controversial Italian director Tinto Brass.

His critics castigate him as a porn producer but I think that is unfair. The story is of an ageing art historian Professor Nino Rolfe, an ageing sensualist played by Frank Finlay, who entrusts his sexual fantasies over his wife Teresa (Stefania Sandrelli) to his journal.

It’s set in Venice in 1940 as fascist Italy under the leadership of il Duce Mussolini goes to war.

There is a lot of sex and nudity but Brass does not cast porn stars.

Frank Finlay, a notable actor of stage and screen, must have been in his late fifties and Sandrelli in her early 40s.

She made her first film in her teens in Federale and had a break as the cousin Angela who Marcello Mastroianni coveted in Divorce Italian Style.

She could act so always got parts in middle age but this was something of a first in an unashamedly erotic film.

She bares her big sagging bum and her pendulous heavy breasts and even pees in an alley as she – not so unwillingly – fights off the advances of Nino and lusts for her daughter’s beau Laszlo.

In a successful career Frank Finlay took an erotic turn in Bouquet of Barbed Wire with Susan Penhigon and then Don Giovanni.

One sometimes wonders what the wife thinks with all this cavorting but Frank Finlay was happily married to the same woman for 50 years.