Birds, the Bees and the Italian, The (Signore & Signori) (1966): Pietro Germi’s Anthology Sex Comedy, Starring Virna Lisi (Cannes Fest 1966)

Oscar winner Pietro Germi directed The Birds, the Bees and the Italian (original Italian title is Signore & Signori, which means ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’), a sex comedy.

Signore & Signori
(The Birds, the Bees and the Italians)
Signore e signori.jpg

Original film poster

The anthology film presents three stories, all set in the Italian town of Treviso.

In the first story, a husband pretends to be impotent as a cover for having an affair.

In the second, a bank clerk abandons his wife for his mistress, but the rest of the town’s husbands become jealous and unite to conspire against them.

In the third, men of the town all seduce a promiscuous teenager, but her father eventually reveals that she is underage, and they face prosecution for statutory rape.

The film shared the Grand Prix with A Man and a Woman at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.

It was selected for screening as part of the Cannes Classics section at the 2016 Cannes Fest


Virna Lisi – Milena Zulian
Gastone Moschin – Osvaldo Bisigato
Nora Ricci – Gilda Bisigato
Alberto Lionello – Toni Gasparini
Olga Villi – Ippolita Gasparini
Franco Fabrizi – Lino Benedetti
Beba Lončar – Noemi Castellan
Gigi Ballista – Giacinto Castellan
Carlo Bagno – Bepi Cristofoletto
Patrizia Valturri – Alda Cristofoletto
Virgilio Gazzolo – Newspaper editor
Quinto Parmeggiani – Giovanni Soligo
Gia Sandri – Betty Soligo
Moira Orfei – Giorgia Casellato
Virgilio Scapin – Don Schiavon


Directed by Pietro Germi
Written by Age, Pietro Germi Luciano Vincenzoni
Cinematography Aiace Parolin
Music by Carlo Rustichelli
Distributed by Dear Film

Release dates: February 10, 1966 (Italy); June 24, 1966 (France)

Running time: 115 minutes