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

 |  Drama, War  |  9 May 1961 (USA)
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In the Italy of WWII, a widow and her lonely daughter seek for distance between them and the horrors of war.



(novel), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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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 ...
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


Cesira is a beautiful widow and a successful grocery store owner in Rome. WWII is raging, and she fears for her beloved daughter, 13-year-old Rosetta, amid the daily bombings. They travel to the village where Cesira was born, where Cesira believes they will be safer. There, they are happy even as food dwindles. A young intellectual, Michele, falls in love with Cesira, who is too consumed with the well-being of her daughter and their survival to return his timid advances. As the allies advance, Cesira decides to return to Rome - and encounter the horrors of war at last. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | War


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Parents Guide:







Release Date:

9 May 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Two Women  »

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Technical Specs


| (subtitled release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film is adapted from an Alberto Moravia novel of 1957 "La Ciocara", based on true events of mass rapes by the Moroccan Gourmiers in the Ciocara region after the battle of Monte Cassino in World War II. Monte Cassino was captured by the Allies on 18 May 1944, and on the following night, thousands of Goumiers and other colonial troops scoured the the hills surrounding the towns and the villages of Ciociaria. Over 60,000 women, ranging in age from 11 to 86, suffered from violence, when village after village came under control of the Goumiers. Civilian men who tried to protect their wives and daughters were murdered. See more »


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 »


Cesira: You're getting a real behind on you like a woman.
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Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 28 May 1961 (1961) See more »


Portami tante rose
Written by Cesare A. Bixio and composed by Michele Galdieri
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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.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
deleted scene? confused whatsupdoc_55
Perfect title for the Criterion Collection! ricardozaldivar
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