Arlecchino Cinema > 11:00


Francesco Rosi


Saturday 02/07/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

“Come on, let’s make a fairytale with Sophia.” That’s how Tonino Guerra, Carlo Ponti’s representative, pitched the film to Rosi, who suggested that the Neapolitan actress take inspiration from the great collection of popular Neapolitan fairytales, Giambattista Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti. “It’s a fairytale in which Prince Rodrigo is forced by his mother to marry one of seven princesses offered to him. But he has no desire to do this. He likes nothing more than to go horse riding and go down to the kitchens to accost the scullery maids. During one of these forays, he discovers Isabella, played by Loren. He falls in love with her, and with the help of a witch he organises a contest for his chosen one to win.” An exception in the filmmaking of Rosi, a champion of social engagement but also an inspired bard of the Mediterranean. “The movie was made with Loren, Omar Sharif and Dolores del Rio, whom I knew and wanted as the prince’s mother… It was a fairytale told in a realistic style. The seven competing princesses, the flying saints, Saint Joseph of Copertino… Sophia liked that kind of work. And she had the type of beauty that took your breath away. She herself says she had never been so beautiful. It was also the first film that the cinematographer Pasqualino De Santis shot on his own. The combination of his cinematography and the beauty of Sophia produced a magnificent result.” (Francesco Rosi, Io lo chiamo cinematografo. Conversazione con Giuseppe Tornatore, Mondadori, Milan 2012). The role of Joseph of Cupertino was intended for Totò, but the producer insisted on the actor Leslie French for American distribution.

Cast and Credits

Sog., Scen.: Francesco Rosi, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, Raffaele La Capria, Tonino Guerra. F.: Pasquale De Santis. M.: Jolanda Benvenuti. Scgf.: Piero Poletto. Mus.: Piero Piccioni. Int.: Sophia Loren (Isabella Candeloro), Omar Sharif (principe Rodrigo Fernandez), Georges Wilson (Jean-Jacques Bouché), Leslie French (Giuseppe da Copertino), Dolores Del Rio (principessa madre), Marina Malfatti (Olimpia Capece Latro), Anna Nogara (principessa impaziente), Rita Forzano (principessa avara), Rosemary Martin (principessa pretenziosa), Carlotta Barilli (principessa superstiziosa). Prod.: Carlo Ponti per Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Les Films Concordia. DCP. D.: 115’. Col.