Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Final summer re-run: the Italian List

Following on from a thread at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) here is my listing of some favourite Italian movies from that early '60s era ... reviews of all those and more at Italian label. 

WHITE SLAVE TRADE, 1952 - Italian pot-boiler by Ponti-De Laurentiis and directed by Comencini about women being sold into prostitution against a grimly realised marathan dance competition. Eleonora Rossi Drago, Silvana Pampanini and Gassman are the leads, with Sophia Lazarro (soon to be Loren) making her mark too, as per recent review here.
LA NOTTE BRAVA, 1959 - Pasolini's young hoodlums and prostitutes glamorised by Bolognini with that terrific cast ... the young Brialy, Terzieff, Milian (right) shine

I DOLCE IGNANNI (SWEET DECEPTIONS), 1960 - Alberto Lattuada's 1960 stunner is a pleasing black and white look at a teenage girl - Catherine Spaak whom the camera loves, as she discovers love and loss, and meets a young gigolo (Jean Sorel) as she roams around Rome for a day.
GHOSTS OF ROME (PHANTOM LOVERS), 1961 - Pietrangeli's delicious comedy which has Marcello Mastroianni, Belinda Lee, Vittorio Gassman, Sandro Milo - about ghosts in modern day Rome, you will love the scene where ghostly Marcello watches Belinda having a bath ...

THE LONG NIGHT OF ‘43 - Belinda again (as an ordinary Italian woman in the Mangano / Loren mould)  in Vancini's rare 1961 wartime drama - there's a full review at Belinda/Italian labels.

SENILITA, 1962 - a melancholy literary film from a Italo Svevo novel, set in Trieste in the '20s. Claudia Cardinale shines as the heartless vamp professor Tony Franciosa falls for, Betsy Blair is marvellous as his spinster sister.

IL MARE (THE SEA) - Patroni Griffi's 1962 drama (which played in London in 1964 when I arrived here, not seen it since but its a fond memory), a sub-Antonioni mood puzzle with The Man, The Woman and The Boy in out of season Capri. Its gloomy, its delirious ...

LE CORRUZIONE (CORRUPTION), 1963 - Young Jacques Perrin leaves college and wants to be a priest, his businessman father Alain Cuny has other ideas and utilises his mistress Rosanna Schiaffino to join them on a sailing weekend .... stunning ending.

A TIME OF INDIFFERENCE, 1964 - Maselli's drama from an Alberto Moravia story: again set in 1920s, Claudia Cardinale & Thomas Milian are the indolent brother and sister, Paulette Goddard (chanelling Norma Desmond) is their mother, as they fall into the trap of Rod Steiger, while Shelley Winters has her own plans for Milian ...

SANDRA (OF A THOUSAND DELIGHTS, VAGHE STELLE DELL'ORSA) - Visconti's stunning operatic melodrama from 1965 - forget the clunky title, this is the real deal, as Claudia and her incestous brother Jean Sorel meet again at their Etruscan estate to honour their dead father. Michael Craig stands by as her husband.

Some Dino De Laurentiis items starring his wife Silvana Mangano:

ANNA - torrid drama by Lattuada in 1951 with Silvana as the nun with a past - Vittorio Gassman and Raf Vallone are the young guys, some terrific music numbers. A teenage Sophia Loren is one of the nightclub girls ...
MAMBO - that terrific 1954 drama for Paramount with Shelley Winters, Gassman & Michael Rennie, and more music numbers by the Katharine Dunham group.

THE TEMPEST, 1958 - from Pushkin's novel set in the Russian steppes, Agnes Moorehead is perfect casting as Mangano's mother, Viveca Lindfors is Catherine the Great, with Van Heflin leading the peasant revolt, as Silvana falls for Geoffrey Horne.

THE SEA WALL (THIS ANGRY AGE), 1958 - OK, here it is once again: Rene Clements' first version of Marguerite Duras' novel. Jo Van Fleet tries to keep the sea from encroaching on her rice plantation in Indo-China, as her children Mangano and Tony Perkins dance, listen to records and have their own problems. Alida Valli picks up Tony in the cinema .... its just marvellous. I loved this and TEMPEST as a kid. 

BOCCACCIO 70 - so very 1962
Other choice Italian plums, as per Italian label here, include those Antonioni's, Fellini's like I VITELLONI, CABIRIA and AMARCORD; Visconti, De Sica, Rossellini, some Pasolini and Bertolucci, Bolognini (1958's GIOVANI MARITI, also reviewed here), Monicelli, etc. Items like VOYAGE TO ITALY, GOLD OF NAPLES, BOCCACCIO 70 with the missing fourth segment (right) by Monicelli included; LE BAMBOLE and LE FATE, watching Gina and Jean Sorel (below), Monica Vitti (both comedienne and arthouse goddess), Anna, Alida, Silvana and Claudia; Sophia's early roles in WOMAN OF THE RIVER, TWO NIGHTS WITH CLEOPATRA, TOO BAD SHE'S BAD; De Sica acting and directing from items like NERO'S LOST WEEKEND to GARDEN OF THE FINZI CONTINI; Visconti's operatics from SENSO to ROCCO; Marcello and Vittorio and Raf with all those ladies ....


No comments:

Post a Comment