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The Naked Maja (1958)

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Title: The Naked Maja (1958)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maria Cayetana, Duchess of Alba
...
Amedeo Nazzari ...
Prime Minister Manuel Godoy
Gino Cervi ...
Lea Padovani ...
Queen Maria Luisa
Massimo Serato ...
Conte Rodrigo Sanchez
Carlo Rizzo ...
Juanito
Audrey McDonald ...
Anita (as Audrey Macdonald)
Ivana Kislinger ...
Pepa
Renzo Cesana ...
Bayeu
Carlo Giustini ...
José
Carmen Mora ...
Prima Ballerina
Patrick Crean ...
Enrique (as Pat Crean)
Peter Meersman ...
Dr. Peral
John Karlsen ...
Inquisitor
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Now she is yours...the matchless...the shameless beauty who lives forever as The Naked Maja!


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Release Date:

20 December 1958 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Naked Maja  »

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2.35 : 1
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Historic melodrama about relationship between Francisco De Goya and Duchess of Alba
20 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is a melodrama involving 18-19th century famed Spanish painter named Goya (Anthony Franciosa) and famous model (Ava Gardner) for the title painting . It's a slow vision of Saragossan painter Francisco Goya Lucientes' waning days in Madrid , as he wanders through Madrid streets and watches the citizen uprising against Napoleon troops . It portrays his relationship with historic personages as Carlos IV (Gino Cervi) , his wife Maria Luisa (Lea Padovani) and the scheming favorite Godoy (Amadeo Nazzari). As Goya observes events, dances , parties , inquisition trials that inspired his work . As the highlights of the movie result to be when are brought to life scenes of known paintings as ¨portrayal of Carlos IV family¨, ¨The charge of Mamelucos¨, ¨The trails of Inquisition¨, ¨Los Caprichos¨ and many others .

This is a costumer partially based on facts but predominates the slow-moving melodrama. The picture relies heavily on lovely relationship between Goya and Duchess of Alba . Glamorously and sumptuously photographed by Giuseppe Rotunno , Federico Fellini's usual . Lavishly produced by Goffredo Lombardo -Titanus production- that the next years financed another vehicle for Ava Grdner as ¨Angel wore red¨ directed by Nunnally Johnson . Emotive and romantic musical score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino . The motion picture is middling directed by Henry Koster and filmed with a pervasive melancholy that does for slow drama . Koster , a veteran Hollywood filmmaker expert on historical genre as ¨The robe , Desiree , The Virgin Queen and D-Day the sixth of June¨ and comedy genre as ¨Inspector General , Mr. Hobbs takes a vacation , Bishop's wife and Rage of Paris¨.

The flick weaves an intrigue between Duchess of Alba , Godoy and Goya who painted the famous Majas ; the actual deeds are the following : Two of Goya (Anthony Franciosa)'s best known paintings are The Nude Maja (La Maja Desnuda) and The Clothed Maja (La Maja Vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed, respectively. Without a pretense to allegorical or mythological meaning, the painting was "the first totally profane life-size female nude in Western art" . The identity of the Majas are uncertain. The most popularly cited models are the Duchess of Alba (Ava Gardner), with whom Goya was sometimes thought to have had an affair, and Pepita Tudó, mistress of Manuel Godoy; Godoy (Amadeo Nazzari)subsequently owned them. Neither theory has been verified, and it remains as likely that the paintings represent an idealized composite. The paintings were never publicly exhibited during Goya's lifetime. They were owned by Manuel Godoy, the Prime Minister of Spain during Carlos IV (Gino Cervi) kingdom and a favorite of the Queen, María Luisa (Lea Padovani). In 1808 all Godoy's property was seized by Ferdinand VII after his fall from power and exile, and in 1813 the Inquisition confiscated both works as 'obscene', returning them in 1836 to the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

Other films dealing with Goya's life are : ¨Goya¨ by Nino Quevedo with Francisco Rabal ; ¨Los Desastres De Guerra¨ TV series by Jose Ramon Larraz with Enric Majo as Goya and the best is ¨Goya in Bordeaux (1999) by Carlos Saura with Francisco Rabal and Maribel Verdu as Duchess of Alba that is a highly theatricalized vision of exiled painter.


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