Vittorio De Sica

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 »

Vittorio De Sica – Il boom (1963)

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Written by John Parrot On 20th April 2012,

By the release of Il Boom in 1963, the Italian economy had seen spectacular growth since 1951 in a growth spurt christened ‘il boom’. The country had left behind both neo-realism and penury. Life may have been sweeter for many people but, as we in the 2010s know, il boom is usually followed by il bust. Even if the Italian economy had been able to defy gravity and travel on a one-way trajectory to the stars, Vittorio De Sica would have been there to bring everyone back down to earth. Il Boom, starring one of Italy’s biggest comic movie stars, Alberto Sordi, looks beneath the glossy surface of the economic miracle to the festering truth of the matter. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Il tetto aka The Roof (1956)

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THE ROOF, largely considered the last masterpiece of Italian Neorealist cinema, dramatizes a single night in the lives of Luisa (Gabriella Palloti) and Natale (Georgio Listuzzi), a strikingly good-looking but destitute pair of newlyweds. The couple shares a small two-room apartment with several relatives. Following a bitter family dispute, Luisa and Natale pack out of this untenable living situation. Luisa turns to a friend for housing, while Natale finds shelter in a toolshed. Realizing that separation is no solution, the couple struggles to build a small shack for themselves in a race against time by a Roman municipal edict, which declares that if the roof is not completed by dawn, it will be torn down by the police. True to writer Cesare Zavattini and director/producer Vittorio De Sica’s previous works (THE BICYCLE THIEF, UMBERTO D.), what risks being lost isn’t just material property, it is the personal dignity of the couple and by extenuation, the dignity of all of mankind. The acting, writing, and directing throughout THE ROOF is superb, creating an honest and touching story centered upon the mutual love and devotion of the young newlyweds. Read More »

Giuseppe Amato & Vittorio De Sica – Rose scarlatte AKA Scarlet roses (1940)

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SYNOPSIS
Respectable bourgeois wife (Renee Saint-Cyr) turns out a mysterious bunch of scarlet roses and yields to temptation of adultery. Vittorio de Sica’s director debut (with supervision by Giuseppe Amato); light but already a little bitter comedy based on skillful Aldo de Benedetti’s stage hit. Naturally, superstar De Sica playing the main role himself – and is on the top of his charm here.
Sadly, there is only Spanish theatrical release (from that time), with Spanish dubbing and titles. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Matrimonio all’italiana aka Marriage Italian Style (1964)

Synopsis:
In flashback, Domenico (Marcello Mastroianni) recalls his wartime romance with Filumena (Sophia Loren). He is so enamored with her that he finances her escape from the bordello where she lives and sets her up with a good job in the restaurant that he owns, and later finds a place for her on his mother’s domestic staff. He is not, however, enamored enough to make their union legal, and expects Filumena to behave like a servant by day and his mistress by night. Years later, Filumena lies on her deathbed. The contrite Domenico finally consents to marry her. Not only does she make a full recovery, but she brings her three grown sons to live with the nonplused Domenico after the wedding. He tries to weasel out of the arrangement, but is mollified by Filumena’s insistence that all three boys are his sons. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Teresa Venerdì (1941)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com

Doctor Beware was the U.S.-released title of Vittorio DeSica’s 1941 effort Teresa Venerdi. DeSica not only directed, but played the leading role of orphanage official Dr. Vignali. The thinnish storyline finds the good doctor becoming romantically involved with three women. It is up to orphaned girl Teresa Venerdi (Adriana Benedetti) to untangle all the plot lines–and, as a bonus, to come to the financial rescue of the improvident Vignali. When the film was released to the U.S. in 1951, supporting actress Anna Magnani, cast in a secondary role as one of Dr. Vignali’s amours, was given star billing. Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – Maddalena, zero in condotta AKA Maddalena, Zero for Conduct (1940)

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Imdb comment:

This is definitely one of the best comedy ever made anywhere…In a Technical school girl students learn to write commercial letters to a Mr Doe in Germany…one day one of these letters is posted by mistake..the problem is that this Mr Doe really exists…The exquisite vittorio de Sica was a great performer before reaching stardom in 1946 with “the bicycle theft”…The movie is always charming ,never vulgar nor stupid and you really get off the movie theatre happy with yourself and life in general..Mussolini censors used Cinema to divert people in those black days…its is not the only movie of its kind but it is the best by miles..After 1960 Italian Directors like Fellini or Scola reacted strongly against this type of comedies..Now they dont seem to know how to make them anymore. Read More »