Cinema: Demure & Ardent

The Conjugal Bed is the May-and-December movie that won Marina Vlady the best actress award at this year's Cannes Festival (TIME, June 14). She plays Regina, a demure and religious girl who catches the eye of Alfonso (Ugo Tognazzi), an auto dealer twice her age. He pursues her with such passion that she is forced to protest: "I'll give myself only to the man I marry."

For Alfonso, marriage becomes a nightmare and the big brass bed in their room an innerspring torture rack. Then abruptly—too abruptly—the film shifts moods. Regina is smugly, victoriously pregnant; the queen bee has been served. Soon...

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