Int. tit.: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Sog., Scen.: Cesare Zavattini. F.: Giuseppe Rotunno. M.: Adriana Novelli. Scgf.: Ezio Frigerio. Co.: Piero Tosi. Mus.: Armando Trovajoli. Int.: Sophia Loren (Mara), Marcello Mastroianni (Augusto), Tina Pica (nonna di Umberto), Giovanni Ridolfi (Umberto). Prod.: Carlo Ponti per Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Les Films Concordia. 35mm. D.: 45’. Bn.
The film that cost De Sica (and Zavattini) the most disdainful accusations of betrayal and cynicism (“a disheartened filmmaker, with no strength or originality” wrote one well-known severe critic) displayed, however, a Hollywood-style ability to mix performance and irony through the portrait of an ironically deformed human character. Under his direction Loren encapsulates the Italian stereotypes of a dream woman (an independent temptress in full bloom with a heart of gold), as opposed to Tina Pica, here in her last performance, who makes the film even more impressive and funny. Mastroianni, on the other hand, worn down by his father and even more by his own ineptitude, destroys his own image as the irresistible Latin lover. Loren’s neglige designed by Piero Tosi for the striptease scene has, quite rightly, entered into the public imagination. It is so famous, in fact, that Robert Altman paid an ironic homage to it in Prêt-à-porter. For the record, it won the Oscar in 1965 for best foreign film.