Arlecchino Cinema > 10:45


Giuseppe De Santis
Introduced by

main actress Marina Vlady


Monday 25/06/2018


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Giorni d’amore is a charming and lively and vivacious and gracious and talented picture. It seems hardly surprising that it should have picked up three or four international prizes between 1954 and 1955. The director, Giuseppe De Santis, is currently one of Italy’s best directors. […] De Santis most prominent quality is undoubtedly an acute sense of popular story-telling. He knows how to drive a story with passion so that it can touch a very broad range of audiences. […] This sense of popular narrative is what makes Giorni d’amore a perfectly delightful little fable. Its plot affords easy, enthusiastic entertainment, as does the versatile Marina Vlady’s youth and beauty. Comedy and poetry combine here to weave a pattern that makes this provincial tale indubitably Italian […]. The subject cannot fail to move, not because it is picturesque but because it is universal. Fondi (Latina), after all, is not the only place where ‘children in love’, who want to be and live together, find themselves confronting insuperable problems, a profound tragedy offset here by cheerful and witty storytelling. All the same, these lovers are not from just anywhere. Their adventures are rooted in social observation, even more than in place, and they offer a colourful, exact description of Southern Italian peasant life. Choosing such very real subject-matter and treating it realistically in no way excludes stylistic experiment or lyricism. In many scenes, notably those involving family quarrels, De Santis has gone for a certain degree of theatricality in the way he shows supporting characters, as also in the way he has cut the picture and directed it. This approach emphasizes the intentional commedia dell’arte style of his approach, though the love story prop
er is shown in a highly lyrical manner that maximizes its power. It ends in a fine, overwhelmingly sensual and pagan scene, in which the two young people finally come together by the sea. De Santis shows an exceptional gift for celebrating love of this sort in all its noble, carnal passion. For this scene alone, whatever its many other great qualities, the film deserves to be seen…

Georges Sadoul, Un ardant conte d’amour, “Les Lettres françaises”, n. 597, 8-14 December 1955


Days (and Nights) of Love: Marina Vlady Remembers

Those Giorni d’amore very nearly became ‘nights of love’. I had been infatuated for years with a man whose films I had seen over and over again, whose very expressions and postures I imitated, a man who was to me the man of all men, the most attractive and irresistible artist, yes, Marlon Brando was holding me in his arms! […] For several weeks, I would go on set by day and then lose consciousness at night […]. I did not know, at the time, that these were the most thrilling moments in a love affair. He was so sure of himself, so spoilt. He loved dazzling a passionate girl as one might love a sophisticated dessert. In the morning, another part was performed. What I experienced by night, I inflicted on my director, Giuseppe De Santis, who was a small, thin, chain-smoking thirty-eight-year-old. […] We had been in Fondi, a village in the south of Italy where the film is set, for two months now. The autumn was a stiflingly hot one. My ‘affair’ with Brando came to a sudden halt. I overheard him say to a friend on the telephone, speaking of me, “I’ll get to screw that kid at last”. Ever since, I’ve had fun stirring things up with men. It’s so easy! […] Marcello sat on a chair, watching me at it with a certain amount of pleasure. He had been my prey when I was still young and innocent. Now he was seeing a proper little vixen at work. […] The first assistant, Elio Petri, a sweet chubby man of whom I was very fond, was to become famous. Like everyone else in the crew, he was a member of the Italian Communist party. […] In the evening, after work, I heard the same kind of talk as I had heard at home in Clichy, when my father, drinking his boiling-hot tea, would put the world to rights. It was jolly and it was loyal and it was stimulating. We felt we were living life to the full and that we could change the course of history… And my new-found power over men was great fun too. I had played it unawares in Le infedeli. I can still hear Monicelli driving me on, “Go on! Let him die!”. I wasn’t going to go that far. But keeping guys on their mettle has never lost its appeal.

Marina Vlady, 24 images/seconds, Fayard, Paris 2005



Interview with Marina Vlady during Il Cinema Ritrovato 2018

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Libero De Libero, Giuseppe De Santis, Elio Petri, Gianni Puccini. F.: Otello Martelli. M.: Gabriele Varriale. Scgf.: Domenico Purificato. Mus.: Mario Nascimbene. Int.: Marcello Mastroianni (Pasquale Drocchio), Marina Vlady (Angela Cafolla), Angelina Longobardi (la madre di Angela), Dora Scarpetta (Nunziata), Giulio Calì (nonno di Angela), Fernando Jacovolta (Adolfo), Renato Chiantoni (il padre di Angela), Pina Gallini (la nonna di Pasquale), Angelina Chiusano (la madre di Pasquale), Lucien Gallas (il padre di Pasquale). Prod.: Excelsa Film, Omnium International du Film DCP. D.: 103’. Col