A liberal-thinking (Jean-Louis Trintignant) fantasises an affair between his wife (Florinda Bolkan) and his best friend, a bisexual actor (Tony Musante). Unbeknown to him, the pair have in fact been lovers for years. Not only that, they have drawn a third player into their bedroom games - an anarchist/poet/actor/gigolo (Lino Capolicchio) who squats in a dankly luxurious basement and makes love to Bolkan under a Nazi swastika flag. Their menage a trois scene - mild enough by today's standards - made the film a scandalous success on its release. In fact, Patroni Griffi gets more erotic mileage from a shot of three clasped hands than Zalman King could get from a sea of naked, thrashing bodies. While his wife is thus engaged, Trintignant drifts into an affair with a rich but lonely single woman (Annie Girardot).
For this movie, Ennio Morricone composed in 1969 one of his best soundtracks of his long career, with the vocal collaboration as usual of the Italian soprano Edda Dell'Orso.