Europa Cinema > 15:30


Luigi Zampa
Introduced by

Emiliano Morreale


Tuesday 27/06/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Once again, Zampa uses a news item as his point of departure, in this case an anecdote about protest movements in the periphery of Rome, but here he chooses to focus on a less comfortable, more combative social situation than in his previous films. A group of exasperated mothers living in a slum decide to take a series of drastic actions, some of them violent, in order to assert their rights […]. The co-authors of the story and screenplay are once again Piero Tellini and Suso Cecchi d’Amico and this time we can hypothesise that Suso Cecchi d’Amico played a greater role, given that she knew Magnani well and that Magnani is also credited on the screenplay […].
Zampa here makes use of a style based around crowded frames, which could be described as polyphonic, in which each character is clearly defined and contributes to the overall effect through his or her own movements and lines. The teeming shots, which reflect the overcrowded living conditions of the period, have a documentary-like quality that is undoubtedly neorealist and encourage a process  of identification. However, the internal rhythms in these spaces remain those of dialect comedy, with the protagonist in the spotlight, her comic foils (Nando Bruno and Ave Ninchi) occasionally singled out, and sudden eruptions of reality through the presence of non-professionals.

Alberto Pezzotta, Ridere civilmente. Il cinema di Luigi Zampa, Edizioni Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna 2012

I enjoyed a wonderful collaboration with Anna Magnani […]. She was undoubtedly hot-headed, but in the best sense of the word. She was extremely talented, enormously likeable and exhilarating […]. We made Angelina together; we discussed many scenes and together chose the non-professional actors. In short, I have wonderful memories of her, both as a woman and as a collaborator.
We did not want to use special costumes, make-up, or distinctive features in order to transform Magnani into a character. She was an extraordinarily talented actress who figured out on her own what she needed to render the character effectively, without lots of rehearsals or retakes. For L’onorevole Angelina, we both visited the slums and were naturally surrounded by a group of women who recognised her. She saw one wearing a threadbare dress and said: “That’s it; I want to wear that.” And so we bought it, she had it washed at home and when she arrived on set she was already the perfect Angelina; she had completely taken on the appearance of Angelina and the slum-dwellers we met that day.

Luigi Zampa, in L’avventurosa storia del cinema italiano. Da La canzone dell’amore a Senza pietà, vol. 1, edited by Franca Faldini and Goffredo Fofi, Edizioni Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna 2009

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Piero Tellini, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Luigi Zampa. Scen: Piero Tellini, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Luigi Zampa, Anna Magnani. F.: Mario Craveri. M.: Eraldo Da Roma. Scgf.: Piero Filippone. Mus.: Enzo Masetti. Int.: Anna Magnani (Angelina Bianchi), Nando Bruno (Pasquale Bianchi), Ave Ninchi (Carmela), Ernesto Almirante (Luigi), Agnese Dubbini (Cesira), Armando Migliari (Callisto Garrone), Franco Zeffirelli (Filippo Garrone), Maria Donati (signora Garrone), Maria Grazia Francia (Annetta). Prod.: Lux Film, Ora Film. DCP. D.: 92’. Bn.