The Private Lesson

Watch The Private Lesson

  • 1975
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 4.9  (431)

The Private Lesson is an Italian comedy film released in 1975 directed by Vittorio De Sisti. It features a talented cast, including Carroll Baker, Rosalino Cellamare, and Leonora Fani. The movie revolves around a sexual awakening of a teenage girl that comes across her teacher's love story while studying a French novel. The story is set in Southern Italy, where a French language teacher Guido (Rosalino Cellamare), is hired to tutor a young girl named Laura (Leonora Fani) the summer before her last year of high school. Laura's father is an influential but busy businessman who rarely spends time with his daughter. Left to her devices, Laura is restless and curious, and Guido soon becomes a focus of her fantasies.

Guido, on the other hand, is initially unaware of Laura's infatuation with him and remains focused on his job. He teaches her French as well as the classic French novel “Madame Bovary.” During one of their classes, Laura comes across a passage detailing Emma Bovary's sexual encounters, which sparks her own curiosity about sex.

Laura frequently flirts with Guido, trying to provoke a reaction from him, but he remains professional and distant. However, Guido's composed demeanor does not stop Laura from pursuing him. Eventually, her advances begin to wear down Guido's resistance, and the two begin a torrid and secret affair.

Meanwhile, Laura's father becomes suspicious of their closeness and hires a private investigator to follow them. However, Guido and Laura manage to outsmart the investigator and continue their trysts behind closed doors. However, their affair takes a surprising turn when Laura discovers that Guido is also seeing another woman, Rita (Carroll Baker).

Discovering Guido's infidelity with Rita, Laura becomes disillusioned with him and ends the relationship. In the end, Guido's deception and Laura's sexual awakening lead to both personal growth and heartache.

Throughout the film, there is a light-hearted tone, with comedic moments balancing out the more dramatic scenes. The movie tackles themes of teenage infatuation, sexual curiosity, and the difference between reality and fantasy. Rosalino Cellamare delivers an excellent performance as Guido, playing the part of a reserved and cautious teacher who eventually falls prey to his student's advances.

Leonora Fani also shines as Laura, portraying the character's sexual awakening and her disappointment with Guido's infidelity with skill and nuance. Carroll Baker delivers a standout performance as Rita, Guido's other lover, providing a different perspective on love and relationships. The supporting cast also elevates the film, adding depth and complexity to the plot.

The film's cinematography also deserves praise, with stunning shots of the Italian countryside, beautiful beaches, and attractive actors in the foreground.

In conclusion, The Private Lesson is a charming, light-hearted, and engaging film that explores themes of sexual awakening, infidelity, and love through an entertaining and captivating plot supported by strong performances and beautiful visuals. It is a perfect choice for anyone who loves romantic comedies or coming-of-age stories.

The Private Lesson
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.9  (431)