Signora Senza Camelie (Lady without Camelias or Camille without Camelias) was the third feature-length directorial effort by Michelangelo Antonioni. It is possible that the director invested a great deal of himself in the story's central character, a film producer played by Gino Cervi. Turning shopgirl Clara Manni (Lucia Bose) into a major movie star, Ercole "Ercolino" (Cervi) caps this Svengalilike action by marrying the girl. Her head in the clouds, Clara demands that her husband star her in an "artistic" production, rather than the sexy vehicles in which she's previously appeared. When the film bombs, so does the marriage. The film ends with a backhanded paean to "public taste," a commodity Antonioni seldom bothered himself with in his future films.
by Hal Erickson synopsis