Lucky to be a Woman/La Fortuna di essere Donna (Alessandro Blasetti, Italy, 1956)

ALESSANDRO BLASETTI

Alessandro_Blasetti_1954Blasetti (3 July 1900 – 1 February 1987) was a key figure in the Italian cinema for forty years. He made his directorial debut with Sun (1929).  It was well-receivedand it is reported that Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini described it as “the dawn of the Fascist film”. It is now seen as a pre-cursor to neorealism.Blasetti was a driving force in the revival of the Italian film industry in the 1930s, having lobbied for greater state funding and support. One outcome was the construction of the large Cinecittà studios in Rome. Blasetti worked continuously during his career including throughout the Second World War. During the 50s he made a series of highly popular comedies including a number based on the work of renowned authors including Luigi Pirandello, Alberto Moravia and Cesare Zavattini. Lucky to be a Woman (1956) is one of two films Blasetti made with Sophia Loren, the first being Peccato che sia una canaglia/Too Bad She’s Bad,(1954) based on the story “Fanatico” from Moravia’s “Roman Tales” and co-starring Vittorio De Sica. The following notes are reprinted by permission from the catalogue of Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato where the restored Lucky to be a Woman screened in 2018.

THE FILM

fortuna-di-essere-donna-news-CR“Peccato che sia una canaglia was cute but its quasi sequel La fortuna di essere donna had an even better screenplay which was well-crafted, graceful and carefully written with Flaiano. With Peccato che sia un canagliawe took our cue from Moravia. With La fortuna di essere donna we were inspired by an Ercole Patti story with a girl nicknamed Nerone. Poor Ercole tried to run away from her by going to Sicily, but she would not give him up. When she could not find him, she went to Brancati; and once, in desperation, she even tried seducing him. Vitaliano described the scene hysterically.” Suso Cecchi D’Amico, L’avventurosa storia del cinema italiano, Franca Faldini and Goffredo Fofi (ed.), vol. II, Edizioni Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna, 2011

FORTUNA_DI_ESSERE_DONNA “La fortuna di essere donna proceeds according to what was by then a familiar vein […]. Like Angelo Solmi wrote in “Oggi” on 16 February 1956: “With La fortuna di essere donna Alessandro Blasetti has chosen once again success by making a comedy of manners, a genre in which he had already proven his ability with Peccato che sia una canaglia and, even earlier, Prima comunione […]”. The world of cinema is depicted in a shrewd point of view: a field of old beauties looking for fresh bodies, cynical agents and dishonest producers, lurking photographers – forerunners of the paparazzi of La dolce vita – looking for shameless girls ready to compromise anything for the price of 30,000 lire a day. Sophia Loren is one of them, albeit more adept at managing her stock of sex-appeal by staying on the defensive. […] At her side is a photographer, played by Marcello Mastroianni, who is no longer the naive taxi driver of Peccato che sia una canaglia but a confident guy aware of his seductive power as a low-end Don Juan, capable of offering aspiring divas false visions as successful film actresses or models, when he really is only thinking about getting them in bed. Unlike the previous movie, this Mastroianni does not effuse congeniality but is in harmony with the entertainment industry, which can corrupt anyone that enters its domain.” Jean A. Gili, in A. Blasetti: 1900-2000, Stefano Masi (ed.), published by the Comitato Alessandro Blasetti per il centenario della nascita, Aprilia 2001

 THE RESTORATION

Lucky to be a Woman was restored by Istituto Luce  and Cinecittà.

CREDITS

Dir: Alessandro BLASETTI | Italy | 1956 | 92 mins | B&W | Sound | Italian with Eng. Subtitles | 2kDCP (originally 35mm) | U/C15+.

Prod. Co: Documento Film, Le Louvre Film | Prod: Raymond ALEXANDRE | Scr: Suso Cecchi D’AMICO, Sandro CONTINENZA, Ennio FLAIANO, AlessandroBLASETTI| Photo: Otello MARTELLI | Edit: Mario SERANDREI | Des/Art: Dario CECCHI | Des/Art: Franco LOLLI | Costume: Orietta NASALLI-ROCCA, Ditta SCHUBERT | Music: Alessandro CICOGNINI.

Cast: Sophia LOREN (Antonietta Fallari), Marcello MASTROIANNI (Corrado Betti), Charles BOYER (Count Sennetti), Elisa Cegani (Elena Sennetti), Titina DE FILIPPO (Antonietta’s Father), Nino BESOZZI (Paolo Magnano)

Source: Compass Film, Istituto Luce, Cinecittà

Author: Cinema Reborn

A site devoted to news and information about Cinema Reborn's festivals of classic film restorations

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