Piccolo Mondo Antico

Mario Soldati

Scen.: Mario Bonfantini, Emilio Cecchi, Alberto Lattuada, Mario Soldati, Dal Romanzo Omonimo Di Antonio Fogazzaro; F.: Carlo Montuori, Arturo Gallea; M.: Gisa Radicchi Levi; Scgf.: Gastone Medin, Ascanio Coccé; Cost.: Maria De Matteis, Gino C. Sensani; Mu.: Enzo Masetti; Ass.R.: Alberto Lattuada; Int.: Alida Valli (Luisa Rigey), Massimo Serato (Franco Maironi), Ada Dondini (Marchesa Orsola Maironi), Mariù Pascoli (Ombretta), Annibale Betrone (Zio Piero), Giacinto Molteni (Professor Beniamino Gilardoni), Elvira Bonecchi (Signora Barborin), Enzo Biliotti (Signor Pasotti), Renato Cialente (Cavalier Greisberg), Adele Garavaglia (Teresa Rigey), Carlo Tamberlani (Don Costa), Gianni Barrella (Curato Di Puria), Nino Marchetti (Pedraglio), Giorgio Costantini (Avvocato Di Varenna), Jone Morino (Donna Eugenia), Anna Carena (Carlotta), Domenico Viglione Borghese (Dino); Prod.: Carlo Ponti Per Ata; 35mm. D.: 106’ A 24 F/S. 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

Alida Valli won the National Cinematographic Prize for the best actress of the year with this film and celebrated a turning point in her career, previously marked by light roles.

I knew whom Fogazzaro was but I had never read anything of his because he was one of my mother’s favourite authors. She was a very authoritarian woman, my mother, and not reading her books was a form of rebellion for me. Anyway I had to make up my mind: it was six thirty in the afternoon when I signed the contract, I went home and by the morning I had finished reading the book, happy to have read such a beautiful book. Dandi the producer helped me a great deal, as far as the actors were concerned. I wanted Zareschi whilst he suggested Alida Valli, who I though would not work. But after the screen tests and as soon as we started, I realised that Dandi was right and that she would be perfect.

Mario Soldati, in L’avventurosa storia del cinema italiano raccontata dai suoi protagonisti. 1935-1959, edited by Franca Faldini and Goffredo Fofi, Milano 1979


What is success? The tedious and banal fact that people recognise you in the street? That the papers talk about you? All I know is that in my first year of work, 1937, I shot five films and that at each new contract they increased my pay. They all said that my name drew the crowds and they offered me contract after contract. I accepted them without thinking too much about what they wanted from me. At sixteen I had practically become the head of the family and the idea of being able to assure my mother a safe existence excited me. I discovered the pleasure of making cinema only later when that crazy Soldati called me to act in Piccolo mondo antico.

Alida Valli, in L’avventurosa storia del cinema italiano raccontata dai suoi protagonisti. 1935-1959, edited by Franca Faldini and Goffredo Fofi, Milano 1979

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