Arlecchino Cinema > 11:20


Alessandro Blasetti
Introduced by

Caterina d’Amico


Sunday 25/06/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Alessandro Blasetti, a great director whose eclectic career spans half a century of cinema, gave Sophia Loren her first major role in a feature film, right after she appeared in an episode of the anthology film L’oro di Napoli. It was yet another brilliant role as a strongwilled and seductive woman capable of standing up to men. Inspired by an Alberto Moravia story, the film is a typical sentimental excursion into ‘pink neorealism’ set in a working-class Italy on its way towards new consumerism. With the aid of accomplices, Loren tries to steal the car of a naive taxi driver. Seduced by her charm, the taxi driver takes her to the police station, but she gets away and he then sets out in search of her gang. “Beauty is not a curse, it is a gift from heaven, which must be used wisely; the protagonist of Peccato che sia una canaglia, the working-class successor of high-society fortune hunters of the past, knows how to manage and juggle men – even if, mind you, none of her cheating tricks ever seriously compromise her purity of heart.” (Vittorio Spinazzola, Cinema e pubblico, Bompiani, Milan 1974). It was also the first encounter between a couple that would become wildly successful in the decades to come: Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni (who appears here in his first comedy role). But we cannot forget, as in so many titles of the time, an extraordinary Vittorio De Sica in the role of the girl’s father, an old-school thief.

Emiliano Morreale


Summer, 1954

Dear Blasetti,
In order to study properly the milieu of thieves like Stroppiani, we ended up in Livorno, where you can buy stolen tartan blankets very cheaply. We bought one for you, contributing just a few lire each, certain in the knowledge that such a blanket would be a lifesaver in the winter months in your castle in Fregene. We have almost finished the work. Everything is good.

Suso Cecchi d’Amico
Sandro Continenza
Ennio Flaiano
Original typed note, Alessandro Blasetti Archive, Cineteca di Bologna

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal racconto Il fanatico (1954) di Alberto Moravia. Scen.: Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Alessandro Continenza, Ennio Flaiano. F.: Aldo Giordani. M.: Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Mario Chiari. Mus.: Alessandro Cicognini. Int.: Marcello Mastroianni (Paolo), Sophia Loren (Lina), Vittorio De Sica (il padre di Lina), Umberto Melnati (Michele), Margherita Bagni (Elsa), Michael Simone (Totò), Giorgio Sanna (Peppino), Mario Scaccia (Carletto), Wanda Benedetti (Valeria). Prod.: Documento Film. DCP. D.: 95’. Bn.