Sophia Loren’s big international breakthrough, in the role of a Mother of Sorrows in wartime Italy. She won the Best Actress awards at the Oscars and Cannes. “Now that La ciociara is complete I feel, as I always do when I finish a film, a feeling of liberation from the nightmares and fears that plagued me during the shooting… I became interested in the story of La ciociara as soon as the book was written, but we were never able to bring it to the screen. By chance the producers Ponti and Girosi, who had bought the film rights to Alberto Moravia’s novel, approached me. Initially they thought of giving the role of the mother (Cesira) to Anna Magnani and that of the daughter (Rosetta) to Sophia Loren. But they could not reach an agreement due to Magnani’s prior commitments. I was the one who suggested giving the role of the mother to Sophia and approaching a 12-year-old girl for that of the daughter… Ponti accepted my suggestion and Cesare Zavattini immediately set about writing the screenplay. There were many difficulties to be overcome: in Moravia’s book the characters are 45 and 18 years old, rather than 27 and 12. Moreover, now the protagonist was to be played by Sophia Loren, an actress who was clearly much younger and much more attractive that Moravia’s character…
In La ciociara Sophia found a straightforward character of a commoner, of the kind that she had not played for many years. I cannot say anything about her, because the longstanding friendship and brotherly affection that bind me to her risks obscuring the genuine enthusiasm of my comments. What I can say is that Sophia Loren is one of the most attentive and scrupulous actresses that I have ever directed; she demonstrates a blind faith in me, for which I am grateful, but which would make any director feel the pressure.” (Vittorio De Sica, “Gente”, 12 December 1974).
Cast and Credits
Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1957) di Alberto Moravia. Scen.: Cesare Zavattini. F.: Gabor Pogány. M.: Adriana Novelli. Scgf.: Gastone Medin. Mus.: Armando Trovajoli. Int.: Sophia Loren (Cesira), Eleonora Brown (Rosetta), Jean-Paul Belmondo (Michele Di Libero), Raf Vallone (Giovanni), Renato Salvatori (Florindo), Carlo Ninchi (Filippo), Andrea Checchi (fascista), Emma Baron (Maria), Pupella Maggio (contadina), Bruna Cealti (sfollata). Prod.: Carlo Conti per Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Cocinor, Films Marceau, S.G.C. DCP. D.: 101’. Bn.
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Introduction curated by Cinema Ritrovato Young
UNA GIORNATA PARTICOLARE
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