'Tis a Pity She's a Whore (1972) is an Italian melodrama based on the
eponymous 17th century
John Ford. Ford's era was called the Caroline, after the king, Charles 1,
the one who was beheaded by Cromwell's lads.
The English Renaissance and beyond
||Period known as
|Oliver Cromwell/Richard Cromwell
Many people have speculated that 'Tis Pity She's a Whore was written in the
Jacobean era rather than the Caroline, because its blood-soaked revenge theme
was so common in the drama of James's reign, but there is no hard evidence to
support that position. The play was first performed somewhere between
1629 and 1633, and was first published in 1633.
In the film's version, Charlotte Rampling is an attractive young single
woman. Her older brother returns home, and the two fall madly in love. He gets
her pregnant, and when they are discovered she is forced to marry her rich
suitor. In the true fashion of the body-count school of 17th century revenge
dramas, things do not go well for them after that. It other words, it makes
the ending of Hamlet seem like a hippie love-in.
The filmmakers did try to reproduce the play faithfully. Unfortunately,
this material was written to be performed on stage, and to appeal to a certain
mind-set which was unique to that time, so it doesn't really translate that
well to the screen for contemporary audiences. It does feature breast exposure
from a young Charlotte Rampling, so that's one ... er ... two good things
about it. Essentially this will only be of interest to Charlotte Rampling
fans, and both enthusiasts of the Senecan bloodbath school of 17th century
This film has long been unavailable and can now be ordered in English on
DVD. The source material for this DVD was pretty clearly a VHS version.
Besides being made from less than ideal source material, the DVD is encoded as
4/3 full screen, but is actually closer to 16:9, which means everyone has
suddenly lost 1/3 of their body weight.
C-, due to the transfer quality.
IMDb readers say 5.3 based on only 48 votes.
Scoop's note: IMPORTANT
We do not recommend the DVD linked below. To put it more bluntly, you do
NOT want this. We've listed the links below for your convenience, and because Rare Licensed DVDs provided us a screener
to preview. In addition to the poor quality and inept mastering mentioned by
Tuna, this is a censored version of a film which was originally more
explicit (see BFD's collage below for an example of the missing footage.)
Couple those facts with the niche nature of the film itself, and this disc is
Even the DVD box is bad, referring to John Ford's play as a "novel."
Tuna's C- is defensible, but is certainly the most generous possible appraisal,
and pertains more to the film itself rather than this disc. I'd say the film
would be C- (a niche product with absolutely no appeal outside the target
audience) even in a perfectly-mastered, fully restored,
uncut version. This particular version is probably an F.
|BFD's collage from the uncensored version: