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The Awakening (1956)

Suor Letizia (original title)
A Roman nun who was a missionary in Africa for 20 years is sent to a convent near Naples where she grows very fond of a boy whose father has died. The child's mother is about to leave him ... See full summary »

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(story and writer), | 11 more credits »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Sister Letizia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Emma Baron ...
Nun at the airport
Marisa Belli
Piero Boccia ...
Salvatore
Cristina Cataldi
Aristide Catani
Bruna Cealti
Antonio Cifariello ...
Peppino
Bianca Doria ...
Concetta
Paolo Ferrara ...
Mayor
Nicola Maldacea
Margo Mannelli
Ugo Mari
Lina Tartara Minora ...
sister Agnese (as Lina Minora)
Leonilde Montesi ...
sister Vincenza
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Storyline

A Roman nun who was a missionary in Africa for 20 years is sent to a convent near Naples where she grows very fond of a boy whose father has died. The child's mother is about to leave him to follow a worker she is in love with who has decided to emigrate to America. Written by Salvatore Santangelo <pappagone2@libero.it>

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Drama

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Release Date:

18 October 1956 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Awakening  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

A nun's motherly love.
18 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Released in the U.S. in 1958 as THE AWAKENING, SUOR LETIZIA ("Sister Letizia"---"Letizia" means "joy") did not get wide release and died an early death. A pity, for this is one of the great Anna Magnani's most moving roles. She plays a nun who runs a school for the children of poor families in the Naples area and becomes torn between her motherly instincts and her religious vows and duties. During the course of her duties she develops a special attachment to a little boy, Salvatore, played by Piero Boccia with complete naturalness. Her feelings become stronger and deeper; the other kids feel she is neglecting them in favor of Salvatore; the other nuns take notice as well, and eventually she herself feels she must allow herself to be separated from the boy and restored to his mother. The moment of separation is a poignant and moving one that tears her asunder, and Magnani gives it the full intensity of her feelings and acting force. It is unforgettable. The intimate motherly caresses and hugs she lavishes on the boy in one scene offended some Italians at the time of its Italian release and that scene was cut for Italian audiences. There are some similarities in story line between this movie and THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S with Ingrid Bergman. Magnani won a Venice Film Festival prize for her acting here. Mario Camerini, whose work as a director had gone all the way back to the silent era, did a splendid job with the entire cast and the locales in and around the Bay of Naples.


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