Jolly Cinema > 18:15


Eduardo De Filippo


Sunday 23/06/2019


Original version with subtitles


Free entry


Film Notes

Napoli milionaria is Eduardo’s magnificent, postwar return to the cinema, as actor, director and co-producer and with significant means placed at his disposal by Dino De Laurentiis. The source play dates from 1945 and is a foundational work of the neorealist era: during the very weeks that Eduardo was writing and staging the play, Rossellini was working on Rome Open City. Today, Eduardo’s text is essential for understanding the cinema of those years, and in particular the mixing of comedy and melodrama. Five years later, the film emerged at the height of the neorealist movement, alongside clear and prestigious models. This is immediately apparent from the classic neorealist voice-over, the real trademark of so much of the cinema of the period. But Napoli milionaria  is perhaps the film in which Eduardo goes furthest towards a cinematic rewriting of one of his theatrical texts. Already the hybrid set, a theatrical backdrop recreated in the studio but populated by real inhabitants of Neapolitan ‘bassi’ (ground-floor apartments), is a kind of short circuit, accentuated by the almost virtuoso camera movements and long-takes. The result is more choral than the source text, more oriented towards the street than the interior of the apartment.
A sense of hindsight is unavoidable in the film, particularly in the epilogue, with its cross-cutting between the postwar electoral campaigns. Totò (who ‘doubles’ De Filippo’s character and is the most powerful element in the film) is hired by the Christian Democrats to protect the party’s real candidate from the Communist demonstrations and he improvises a short monologue defining himself as a “horse for hire”. Caught between the Christian Democrats and the Communist Party, Eduardo remains anchored to an underlying democratic populism, which distances him from both Fascism and Achille Lauro, and open to the positive elements of the mass parties, but also wary of them.

Emiliano Morreale

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dalla pièce omonima (1945) di Eduardo De Filippo. Scen.: Eduardo De Filippo, Piero Tellini, Arduino Majuri. F.: Aldo Tonti. M.: Douglas Robertson, Giuliana Attenni. Scgf.: Piero Filippone, Piero Gherardi, Achille Spezzaferri. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Eduardo De Filippo (Gennaro Jovine), Leda Gloria (Amalia), Delia Scala (Maria Rosaria), Gianni Musy Glori (Amedeo), Totò (Pasquale Miele), Carlo Ninchi (il brigadiere), Dante Maggio (il pizzaiolo), Titina De Filippo (donna Adelaide), Laura Gore (signora Spasiani), Mario Soldati (ragionier Spasiani). Prod.: Eduardo De Filippo, Dino De Laurentiis per Teatri della Farnesina. 35mm. D.: 102’. Bn.


Year: 1949-50
Country: Italia
Running time: 11'
Film Version

Italian version