In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from ... See full summary »
Francis L. Sullivan
Gino, a young and handsome tramp, stops in a small roadside inn run by Giovanna. She is unsatisfied with her older husband Bragana : she only married him for money. Gino and Giovanna fall ... See full summary »
The world famous violinist Holger Brandt comes back to his family after a tour. He and his wife have been married for many years, but their love has gone. Their young daughter gets a new ... See full summary »
Three stories about the lives and loves of those who own a certain yellow Rolls-Royce: **First purchased by the Marquess of Frinton for his wife as a belated anniversary present, the ... See full summary »
All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to ... See full summary »
Documentary on Luchino Visconti's travels and auditions in search for a young actor to portray the role of Tadzio in his adaptation of Thomas Mann's novella "Death in Venice", finally choosing Swedish actor Björn Andrésen.
A real curio, this one. Four famous actresses play themselves in four sketches, each one based (allegedly) on an incident from her own life. Mind you, only a saint or a masochist would have the patience to sit through the first part, directed by producer Alfredo Guarini - where two unknown girls go for screen test at Cinecitta Studios in Rome. Don't worry, this is family entertainment, so no unseemly fumbling about on casting couches for these two.
It does pick up considerably once the divas appear. Alida Valli goes to an engagement party for her humble masseuse, and is taken aback when the other guests treat her 'like a star' - and she herself feels a forbidden attraction to the girl's future husband. Ingrid Bergman engages in a war of nerves with a recalcitrant chicken. (No, I'm not joking!) Isa Miranda drives an injured boy to hospital, and regrets having no children of her own. Anna Magnani rages at a taxi driver who dares charge extra for her toy dog. At the end, she goes onstage and sings. Divinely.
Like any film made up of sketches, Siamo Donne is wildly uneven. The Bergman and Miranda episodes are wafer-thin, and seem overlong even at 15 to 20 minutes. Valli's is beautifully observed, and directed with great sensitivity by Gianni Franciolini. The Magnani sketch may be a one-woman show, but director Luchino Visconti still contrives to show lots of pretty young men posing about in uniform. Good to know some things never change.
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