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Two Women (1960)
"La ciociara" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  9 May 1961 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,098 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 19 critic

Cesira and her 13-year-old daughter, Rosetta, flee from the allied bombs in Rome during the second world war. They travel to the village where Cesira was born. During their journey and in ... See full summary »

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Title: Two Women (1960)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Michele Di Libero (as Jean Paul Belmondo)
Eleonora Brown ...
Carlo Ninchi ...
Filippo, il padre di Michele
Andrea Checchi ...
Un fascista
Pupella Maggio ...
Una contadina
Emma Baron ...
Maria
Bruna Cealti ...
Una sfollata
Antonella Della Porta ...
La madre impazzita
Mario Frera
Franco Balducci ...
Il tedesco nel pagliaio
Luciana Cortellesi
Curt Lowens
Tony Calio ...
(as Tony Caliò)
Remo Galavotti
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Storyline

Cesira and her 13-year-old daughter, Rosetta, flee from the allied bombs in Rome during the second world war. They travel to the village where Cesira was born. During their journey and in the village, the mother does everything to protect Rosetta. However, on one occasion they both get raped by soldiers hiding in a church. This cruel event is too much for the always powerful fighting Cesira and she suffers from a breakdown. During their stay in the village, a young intellectual, Michele falls in love with Cesira who does not know how to reply to the advances of such a gentleman. Written by Gerhard Windecker <g.wind@mbox300.swipnet.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Suddenly...Love Becomes Lust...Innocence becomes shame...As two women are trapped by violent passion and unforgettable terror!

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 May 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Two Women  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (subtitled release)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sophia Loren's Best Actress Academy Award was the first Oscar ever given for a performance in a "foreign-language" film. See more »

Goofs

When she enters the church, Rosetta's hair is short (her mother had recently cut it.) After the rape, her hair is suddenly long again. See more »

Quotes

Cesira: If you said the things to me that he does, I would slap you in the face.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hilde (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Faccetta nera
Music by Mario Ruccione
Lyrics by Renato Micheli
(1935)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Mark of Daring
5 January 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Sophia Loren became the first player to win an Acting Oscar for a foreign language film in Two Women or La Ciociara in her native Italy. She plays the title role here, the other woman being her daughter played in La Ciociara by Eleanora Brown.

The story here is a relatively simple one, Sophia and Eleanora leave Rome due to the bombing of Rome just prior to the Allied invasion of Italy. The political situation is in one state of flux to put it mildly. In a matter of days, Benito Mussolini was overthrown and General Badoglio put in charge of the government. But the Nazis suspecting something was afoot sent in troops and met the Allies in a pitched 21 day battle at Salerno which like Waterloo was a close run thing.

At one point Jean-Paul Belmondo asks a couple of stray British paratroopers who landed way up behind enemy lines why the Allies didn't land in Rome. In fact they almost did land an army there, but Eisenhower canceled the landing at the last moment and probably saved a lot of lives doing so.

But this isn't about great battles, it's about Two Women just trying to survive the ravages of war in the best way they can. Sophia decides their best place is in her old village, south towards Naples. Before the film ends, she's given plenty of reason to rethink that decision.

Sophia was the Best Actress in 1961 for this film and for reasons I don't understand it was not given any other Oscar nominations, including for Best Foreign Language Film and for Best Director for Vittorio DeSica.

If La Ciociara has a fault it's that it's Sophia's show totally. The village characters and that of her one time lover Raf Vallone are left undeveloped. Only the daughter and young intellectual Belmondo who falls for the earthy Sophia seem to be on the verge of becoming three dimensional.

The subject matter could never have been done in an American studio with the Code still firmly in place. I remember back in the day La Ciociara was shown at the art house circuit and many young juveniles considered it a mark of daring to get in and see Sophia Loren expose more than her American films had done up to that time.

Sophia Loren deserved that Oscar, every bit of it. And you'll agree if you see La Ciociara.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Any GOOD DVD versions out there? jspearman7
Rape scene not as violent as remembered hud9150
Rape Scene in the Church grapesofbutcher
supporting actress's age jiqinghui
Perfect title for the Criterion Collection! ricardozaldivar
deleted scene? confused whatsupdoc_55
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