Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Dente per Dente is an Italian adaptation of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Predicated on the notion that absolute power corrupts absolutely, the story concerns a 15th century Viennese duke (Alfredo Varelli) who, upon deciding to take a sabbatical from his duties, puts his sanctimonious cousin Claudio (Carlo Tamberlani) in charge of things. Before long, Claudio is issuing all sorts of impossible edicts and restrictions, culminating in an outrageous death sentence for young Angelo (Aldo Silvani). When Angelo's sister Isabella (Caterina Borato) begs for leniency, the formerly prudish Claudio offers to free Angelo in exchange for Isabella's sexual favors. Upon his return, the Duke gets wind of Claudio's outrages. Disguising himself, the Duke decides to allow Claudio to hang himself with his own words. By its very nature, Dente per Dente is topheavy with dialogue, which made an American release a risky proposition back in 1952.