Show Business: The Irresistible Force and the Immutable Object

Be warned. "She's like 25 men," says her frequent leading lady, Mariangela Melato. "I've never seen so monstrous a vitality. When you work with Lina, you can forget you have personal problems, emotional states, responsibilities. You dedicate yourself entirely."

"We are two volcanoes," says Giancarlo Giannini, star of Seven Beauties (TIME, Jan. 26). "In terms of my work, she is the woman of my life. We are the same. Indefatigable. Slightly crazy. We exist for each other." Director Lina

Wertmuller herself offers still another characterization: "We are like two li ons." Fire, force, eruptive...