Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica – Il giardino dei Finzi Contini AKA The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

*** BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – Oscar winner, 1972 ***

Plot
The film is set in Ferrara, northern Italy, between 1938-1943, and shows the lives of the Jewish Finzi-Contini family and their friends as they struggle against Mussolini’s fascism and anti-Semitism in wartime Italy. The Finzi-Contini family is one of the leading families in the town. The adult children, Micòl and Alberto, gather friends for tennis at their villa with its lovely grounds, keeping the rest of the world at bay. Into the circle steps Giorgio, a Jew from the middle class who falls in love with Micòl. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – L’oro di Napoli AKA The Gold of Naples (1954)

Synopsis
A tribute to Naples, where director De Sica spent his first years, this is a collection of 6 Napolitean episodes : a clown exploited by a gangster ; an inconstant pizza seller (Sofia) loosing her husband’s ring ; the funeral of a dead child ; the gambler Count Prospero B. defeated by a kid ; the unexpected and unusual wedding of Teresa, a prostitute ; the “professor” Ersilio Micci, a “wisdom seller”. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Caccia alla volpe AKA After The Fox (1966)

Released in the US as “After The Fox”, Caccia Alla Volpe is a 1966 collaboration of Vittorio De Sica and Peter Sellers. In this light romp Sellers plays Italian Master Thief Aldo Vanucci who escapes from prison to help his mother control his precocious young sister and to take part in smuggling gold bullion into Italy. With the Carabiniere always on his tail, Vanucci concocts a scheme to pose as Fellini-esque movie director Federico Fabrizzi filming a neo realistic film in a small Italian coastal town where he plans to receive the gold. Many icons are sent up in this film. De Sica himself shows he is not above a little self parody, Fellini of course gets jabbed and probably most notably, Victor Mature briefly came out of retirement to play handsome Tony Powell, a hilarious and thinly veiled caricature of himself, an aging over the hill star of the 40’s desperate to recapture his former starpower complete with his signature trench coat. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Ieri, oggi, domani AKA Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963)

Stories about three very different women and the men they attract.

Episode 1. In Naples the street trader Adelina is sentenced to prison for selling bootleg cigarettes. The lawyer Verace tells her husband Carmine that according to the law a woman cannot be put in prison when she is pregnant and six months after the delivery. Adelina and Carmine start procreating one child after another to avoid imprisonment, but after the 7th child is born, Carmine is burned out and cannot make love anymore. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Il viaggio AKA The Voyage (1974)

IMDb wrote:
Adriana De Mauro loves Cesar Braggi, but Cesar, honoring his father’s dying wish, allows his brother, Antonio, to marry Adriana. As fate wills, Antonio dies in an automobile accident. Adriana’s mourning for Antonio ends when Cesar steps in to rekindle her lust of life. Soon, Adriana begins having dizzy spells. Cesar helps her to a specialist, and the diagnosis is not good. She has an incurable disease. For the rest of their time together, Cesar woos Adriana and eventually proposes to her on a gondola. Yet, for some reason or other, Signora De Mauro, Adriana’s mother, is not pleased with the relationship and argues bitterly with Cesar. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – La porta del cielo (1945)

SYNOPSIS
During War World II, Vittorio De Sica was approached by Goebbels to help relaunch the Italian film industry under the auspices of Musolini’s puppet regime. In order to escape collaboration with the Nazis, De Sica quickly invented the project “La porta del cielo” a film about religious miracles funded by the Vatican. Appalled by their plight during the German occupation of Rome, De Sica cast many Jews in the film to spare them from Nazi persecution, extending the shoot until the American allies arrived in the capital. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Ladri di biciclette AKA Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Quote:

A crowd forms in front of a government employment agency, as it does every day, waiting – often in vain – for job announcements. Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani), one of the unemployed laborers who participates in this daily ritual, is selected to hang posters in the city, a job requiring a bicycle, which he has long sold in order to sustain his family’s meager existence for a few more days. He and his wife, Maria (Lianella Carell), return to the pawn shop with a few remaining possessions, their matrimonial linen, in order to redeem the bicycle. During his first day at his new work, his bicycle is stolen. He combs the city with his young son, Bruno (Enzo Staiola), in search of the elusive bicycle. Read More »