Pondering Possible Sequels
Casablanca, Divorce Italian Style, and the original Stepford Wives ended with interesting sequel possibilities. It’s unlikely any moviemaker will follow any of the storylines suggested in this article. It is interesting to speculate and consider such storylines for original movies. This article contains spoilers for these movies.
This 1942 movie is a love triangle formed because of the NAZIs. Germany sent Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) to a concentration camp. Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), his spouse, believes he will never get out of the concentration camp alive. She meets and has a whirlwind affair in France with Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart). Germany will soon take over France. They agree to meet at a train station and leave France via Marseilles. She doesn’t come to the station but sends him a note that she can never see him again.
Ilsa, with Victor, have a chance meeting with Rick in Casablanca. Ilsa still loves Rick. Rick hasn’t gotten over Ilsa. Ilsa feels loyalty to Victor and his anti-NAZI cause. Ilsa wants to stay with Rick but he convinces her to go with Victor. In films love triangles normally end with a character’s death. This saves the character with two love interests from having to make a morally questionable choice. The right character tends to be the one to survive. Casablanca ends with Rick giving up his love for the greater good. It's a great and timely ending.
The war ended less than four years after Casablanca’s, December 1941, timeframe. Did all sides of the triangle survive the war? Did Rick find another and better love? Did Ilsa remain faithful to Victor. Did Victor remain faithful to Ilsa? Does Rick again cross paths with Ilsa and/or Victor? Ilsa went with Victor for the cause. What happened when the cause no longer exists? The answers to these questions make for good, and appropriate, postwar movies.
Divorce Italian Style
This 1961 dark comedy is about a man, Il barone Fernando Cefalú (Marcello Mastroianni) who wants to marry Angela (Stefania Sandrelli), a beautiful young woman. Divorce was illegal in Italy. Italian law recognized Honor Killings as mitigating circumstanced for murder. Divorce Italian Style made many Americans aware of some of Italy’s archaic laws.[i]
Rosalia (Daniela Rocca) is Fernando’s loving and faithful wife. Fernando eventually manipulates her into having an affair. Fernando murders Rosalia and with his famed attorney (Pietro Tordi) gets a light sentence. After a few months in jail, he returns home to a hero’s welcome. He marries Angela.
Divorce Italian Style ends with Fernando and Angela on their honeymoon. It’s obvious Angela is cheating on Fernando. A few months in jail, which he knew he would get, and a faithless spouse hardly seems just punishment for Fernando.
What did the future bring for Fernando and Angela? Did Fernando remain oblivious to what was happening under his nose? Did Fernando reconcile himself to what he brought upon himself? Did Fernando plot another murder? Did Angela decide on an Italian style divorce? What was the result of any of their plots? Answers to these questions make good potential sequels for movies where someone gets away with murder or other serious crimes.
In 1970 Italy made divorce legal. What happens to the couple when divorce becomes legal? Changing the law to allow divorce didn’t bring on an immediate flood of divorce cases. One news broadcast asked an Italian celebrity why she thought there weren’t as near as many divorce cases as expected. She answered, “because the men don’t want to marry their girlfriends.”
[i] Italy permitted the honor killing defense until 1981.
The Stepford Wives
This 1975 science fiction movie has had three TV movie sequels and a comedic 2004 reboot. It hasn’t had a sequel that picked up where the original left off. The Eberhart family moves to the suburban town of Stepford. Joanna Eberhart (Katharine Ross) finds after about a month a wife in Stepford has a complete personality change. They become the stereotypical wives of 20 years ago. She learns the Stepford wives are being replaced by robots. Joanna tries to get away and almost succeeds.
The movie ends with robot Joanna and other robot wives in a supermarket. An African-American couple, the newest family in Stepford, are also in the supermarket. A sequel that picks up from that point would show the story of the next victim. Would the intended victim do better than Joanna? Would the intended victim prevail or simply survive? Would the intended victim be institutionalized and replaced? Would the intended victim’s spouse follow through with the intended plot or have a change of heart? Who is the intended victim? It could be a case of the wife saying, “I know what you men are doing and I want in.”
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Robert Sacchi