Alessandro Blasetti

Sog.: dal racconto Il fanatico di Alberto Moravia. Scen.: Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Alessandro Continenza, Ennio Flaiano. F.: Aldo Giordani. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Mario Chiari. Mus.: Alessandro Cicognini. Int.: Marcello Mastroianni (Paolo), Sophia Loren (Lina), Vittorio De Sica (il padre di Lina), Umberto Melnati (Michele), Margherita Bagni (Elsa), Michael Simone (Totò), Giorgio Sanna (Peppino), Mario Scaccia (Carletto), Wanda Benedetti (Valeria). Prod.: Documento Film. DCP. D.: 95’. Bn.

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

Alessandro Blasetti, a great director whose eclectic career spans half a century of cinema, gave Sophia Loren her first major role in a feature film, right after she appeared in an episode of the anthology film L’oro di Napoli. It was yet another brilliant role as a strong-willed and seductive woman capable of standing up to men. Inspired by an Alberto Moravia story, the film is a typical sentimental excursion into ‘pink neorealism’ set in a working-class Italy on its way towards new consumerism. With the aid of accomplices, Loren tries to steal the car of a naive taxi driver. Seduced by her charm, the taxi driver takes her to the police station, but she gets away and he then sets out in search of her gang. “Beauty is not a curse, it is a gift from heaven, which must be used wisely; the protagonist of Peccato che sia una canaglia, the working-class successor of high-society fortune hunters of the past, knows how to manage and juggle men – even if, mind you, none of her cheating tricks ever seriously compromise her purity of heart.” (Vittorio Spinazzola, Cinema e pubblico, Bompiani, Milan 1974). It was also the first encounter between a couple that would become wildly successful in the decades to come: Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni (who appears here in his first comedy role). But we cannot forget, as in so many titles of the time, an extraordinary Vittorio De Sica in the role of the girl’s father, an old-school thief. “The spark between us was immediate… We played our roles guided by instinct, and with a panache that for me was a revelation… De Sica set the tone; Marcello and I immediately went along with it, imbuing our acting with verve and subtlety that characterised the many films we would make together later on” (Sophia Loren).

Emiliano Morreale

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