Description: The Wayward Wife (Italian: La provinciale) is a 1953 Italian drama film taken from an Alberto Moravia’s novel and directed by Mario Soldati. It was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.
Gemma, daughter of a lodger, is in love with her half-brother, but since she cannot marry him she ends up marrying a teacher. She doesn’t love him and betrays him but is blackmailed by a Romanian countess who forces her to become a prostitute. She’s desperate but in the end she asks her husband for help. She has learned to love him in the meantime.
Soldati studied Humanities in his native city, Turin, and History of Art in Rome. He started publishing novels in 1929 although his fame came with America primo amore, published in 1935, a diary about the time he spent teaching at Columbia University. He won literary awards for the work.
He began directing in 1938 and his most famous films are Piccolo mondo antico (1941) and Malombra with Isa Miranda, both based on novels by Antonio Fogazzaro; these two films belong to the early 1940s movement in Italian cinema known as calligrafismo.
Other popular films were Eugenie Grandet, based on Balzac’s novel, with Alida Valli; Fuga in Francia (1948); The River Girl (starring Sophia Loren) and La provinciale (starring Gina Lollobrigida).
Soldati also wrote for Italian newspapers including Il Mondo, Il Corriere della Sera, La Stampa and Il Giorno.
He died at Lerici in 1999.