Matrimonio All’italiana

Vittorio De Sica

T. int . Marriage Italian Style. Sog.: dal testo teatrale omonimo di Eduardo De Filippo. Scen.: Renato Castellani, Leo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi, Tonino Guerra. F.: Roberto Gerardi. M.: Adriana Novelli. Scgf.: Carlo Egidi. Cos.: Piero Tosi. Mus.: Armando Trovajoli. Int.: Sophia Loren (Filumena Marturano), Marcello Mastroianni (Domenico Soriano), Aldo Puglisi (Alfredo), Tecla Scarano (Rosalia), Generoso Cortini (Michele), Vito Morriconi (Riccardo), Gianni Ridolfi (Umberto), Marilù Tolo (Diana). Prod.: Carlo Ponti per Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Les Films Concordia DCP. D.: 102'. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The total 4K restoration started from a 35mm intermediate printed in 1964 directly from the camera negative, which unfortunately was lost. This second generation intermediate was found in France at Éclair Group deposited on behalf of Studio Canal. It was the best available element to undertake the resto ration process. Compared to the previous reprints and restorations, the discovery of this new element gained a whole photographic generation, because up until today all restorations had started from the only preservation element available in Italy: an internegative, property of Surf Film. The color correction phase has enjoyed the precious supervision of Ennio Guarnieri, who was not just an apprentice of the film's cinematographer, Roberto Gherardi, but also the cinema tographer himself of some films directed by Vittorio De Sica, as for example, The Garden of Finzi-Continis.

Davide Pozzi e Elena Tammaccaro


In 1964 De Sica comes back to Naples to shoot a film adaptation of Eduardo De Filippo's most well-known work, his "dearest creature", that had been on stage around the world (in Paris with Valentine Tessier, in New York with Katy Ju rado) - not to mention the thousands of performances in Italy, with leading la dies like the legendary Titina, Eduardo's sister, and later Regina Bianchi. He prefers not (or he does not dare) to call the film Filumena Marturano. Eduardo has been contacted for the screenplay but disappears quite soon; a troop of names that had recently made the glory of Italian cinema gets onto the project and re-shapes the three-act comedy into a series of flash-backs. The title chosen is Matrimonio all'italiana, which has its virtues: it is cheeky, it translates well, and it balances the weight of the two stars. Sophia and Marcello are at the height of their careers, in a whirl of Oscars and glamour, fresh from the striptease scene that De Sica himself has just orchestrated for them in Ieri, oggi e domani. It is not by chance that the posters of Matrimonio all'italiana feature a smiling, imperious Sophia dressed in a negligee. The obvious challenge is transforming a spectacular and thirty-year-old Loren into the worn-out and dramatic Filumena. Things are simpler for Mastroianni: he reinvents Domenico Soriano as a lovable rascal floating along, as only he could, on his power of seduction, which in Eduardo's pièce was only alleged, or buried in the past. There is only one moment in which Domenico is truly sordid. He allows Filumena in his home and cruelly lets her know that she is there only to serve his old mother, down to the most menial tasks. She accepts: without resignation, wrily mocking herself and the man she cannot separate herself from. Sophia Loren stands there with her unavoidable beauty, but her body seems to absorb the squalor, the mold and the odor of the rooms. She makes it all palpable, and here she earns her right to be Filumena Marturano, the right to the comedy of denigrated love and shrewd motherhood, to the celebrated line"you don't pay for children" and all the rest. A great work of acting, actress directing and art direction. Carlo Egidi's sets are one of the finest qualities of the film; Eduardo's post-war middle-class settings are turned into dilapidated, cavernous interiors. Naples updated to 1964 seems a foreign and slightly coarse place: in fact, here and there someone distract edly sings the nostalgic lyrics of Munasterio 'e Santa Chiara ("penz' a Napule cum'era...", "think of how Naples used to be"). At the end we find the two characters on the slopes of Vesuvius, in a gray landscape, in a scene that is more than just a little absurd: two old lovers, who have had an entire life to grow a mutual disgust, give into a sudden and unlikely burst of desire. And yet in their clinging, in this incongruos love scene so blatantly Italian-international style (Carlo Ponti producing and supervising), De Sica, a great artist as much as an experienced showman, detonates the meaning of Eduardo's "lives hurled against each other."

Paola Cristalli

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Restored in 2014 by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage in collaboration with Surf Film and with contribution from Memory Cinema, at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory