Three episodes, three cities (Naples, Milan, Rome), the second phase of the Loren-Mastroianni double-act after their comedies together in the 1950s. At the helm of Carlo Ponti’s project is the ex-Neorealist duo of De Sica-Zavattini (joined by the pen of Eduardo De Filippo for one episode). An international triumph and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and not without reason. As Vittorio Spinazzola writes, Loren’s films of the early 1960s are: “perfect examples of the Hollywood style… De Sica’s skill has been to identify a character, or better a personality, which possesses an unequivocally local flavour that perfectly suits Loren’s precise but limited abilities and temperament and is blessed with a vividly eloquent moral. At first glance, the portrayal is not that different from the young Neapolitan girl sketched out in L’oro di Napoli and reprised by numerous ‘pink neorealist’ films. But in these new films, De Sica pushes the contrast between the exuberant irreverence of her common manners and the fundamental goodness they conceal: beneath a trashy exterior beats a proud and generous heart. Rather than suffering as result, the character becomes more distinct and resilient, so that she can now lend herself to both dramatic and comic registers. The only thing that matters is that the more daring the situations and objectionable her behaviour, the more the innate integrity of her conscience is revealed” (Cinema e pubblico, Bompiani, Milano 1974).
Cast and Credits
Sog.: Eduardo De Filippo (Adelina), dal racconto Troppo ricca di Alberto Moravia (Anna), Cesare Zavattini (Mara). Scen.: Eduardo De Filippo, Cesare Zavattini, Billa Billa, Cesare Zavattini. F.: Giuseppe Rotunno. M.: Adriana Novelli. Scgf.: Ezio Frigerio. Mus.: Armando Trovajoli. Int.: Sophia Loren (Adelina Sbaratti/Anna Molteni/Mara), Marcello Mastroianni (Carmine Mellino/Renzo/ Augusto Rusconi), Aldo Giuffrè (Pasquale Bardella), Armando Trovajoli (Giorgio Ferrario), Giovanni Ridolfi (Umberto), Lino Mattera (Amedeo Scapace), Tina Pica (nonna di Umberto), Agostino Salvietti (Domenico Verace), Gennaro Di Gregorio (nonno di Umberto), Tecla Scarano (Bianchina Verace), Carlo Croccolo (imbonitore). Prod.: Carlo Ponti per Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Les Films Concordia. DCP. D.: 114’. Col.
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Introduction curated by Cinema Ritrovato Young