TWO WOMEN

Normally, an actor or actress in a foreign-language film was not the ideal candidate for an Academy Award, in as much as his or her English-language "performance" was often dubbed in by an anonymous third party. Such was not the case of Sophia Loren in TWO WOMEN (LA CIOCARA), who did her own English dubbing.  Adapted by director Vittorio De Sica and Cesare Zavattini from the novel by Alberto Moravia, TWO WOMEN is the semi-neorealist account of widow Cesira (Loren) and her teenaged daughter, Rosetta (Eleanora Brown), as they struggle to survive in war-ravaged Italy.  A conventional romantic triangle between mother, daughter, and Michele (Jean-Paul Belmondo), is barely under way when the war rears its ugly head once more. Seeking shelter in a bombed-out church, Cesira and Rosetta are attacked and raped -- a horrifying sequence, capped by a freeze-frame close-up of Rosetta, her face a taut mask of terror (this image was enough to prompt a virulent "anti-smut" editorial in The Saturday Evening Post). Once they've recovered from this appalling experience, mother and daughter are offered a ride back to Rome by a friendly truck driver. Though Cesira had hoped to keep her daughter from compromising herself as a means of survival, she is crushed to discover that Rosetta has given herself to the truck driver in exchange for a pair of stockings. When Cesira and Rosetta finally reconcile, it is a grievous occasion, mourning the death of their mutual love, Michele.  A last-minute replacement for Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren brought hitherto untapped depths of emotion to her performance in TWO WOMEN; she later stated that she was utilizing "sensory recall," dredging up memories of her own wartime experiences.

Numerous awards including Academy Award to Sophia Loren as Best Actress, as well as BAFTA Best Actress and Cannes Film Festival Best Actress.  Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.

Sophia Loren  as  Cesira
Jean-Paul Belmondo  as  Michele Di  Libero
Eleanora Brown  as  Rosetta
Carlo Ninchi  as  Filippo, il padre di Michele
Andrea Checchi  as  Un fascista
Pupella Maggio  as  Una contadina
Emma Baron  as  Maria
Bruna  Cealti  as  Una sfollata

DIRECTOR:  Vittorio De Sica
PRODUCERS: Carlos Ponti, Joseph E. Levine
WRITERS: Alberto Moravia, Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio De Sica
CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Gabor Pognany
EDITOR:  Adriana Novelli
ORIGINAL MUSIC:  Armando Trovajoli
Availability:  35mm, DVD
Date of Release:  1960
100 Minutes;  Black & White 1.66/Mono
Dubbed to English
Alternate Title: LA CIOCIERA


 

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