S. e sc.: M. Ferreri e Rafael Azcona. F.: Aldo Tonti. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Mario Garbuglia. Mu.: Teo Usuelli. In.: Annie Girardot (Maria), Ugo Tognazzi (Antonio Focaccia), Achille Majeroni, Filippo Pompa, Elvira Paoloni, Linda de Felice. P.: Compagnia Cinematografica Champion (Roma) / Marceu-Cocinor (Parigi). 35mm. D.: 100’ a 24 f/s.
The painting La Mujer barbuda is located at the Tavera hospital (Toledo). It was painted in 1631 by José Ribera (Jàtiva 1591 – Naples 1652), known as Lo Spagnoletto because he was small in stature. In 1610, Ribera left Spain for Italy, never to return. In Rome he led a poor, bohemian life, and in 1616 he moved to Naples. There he married the daughter of painter G.B. Azzolino and soon became the most prominent figure in the Neapolitan painting scene (at the time it was one of the most brilliant in Italy). His fame would then extend throughout Europe. The story tells the legend of a girl who, while crossing a wooded area, was attacked by bandits. In fear of being raped, the girl implored the Blessed Virgin Mary who made an enormous beard sprout suddenly on the girl’s face. The bandits were frightened and let her continue on her way. That painting and legend are at the origins of the story for La donna scimmia. Marco and I wanted to make the film in Spain, but the censorship prevented us. In Rome we went back to the idea.