Sunflower (1970)
"I girasoli" (original title)

G  |   |  Drama, War  |  24 September 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,014 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 12 critic

An Italian woman conducts a desperate search for her husband, a soldier considered missing in action in Russia - like fifty thousand others during WWII.



(story) (as Antonio Guerra) , (story), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lyudmila Saveleva ...
Mascia (as Ljudmila Saveljeva)
Galina Andreeva ...
Valentina, Soviet official
Anna Carena ...
Madre Antonio
Nadya Serednichenko ...
Contadina russa (as Nadja Cerednicenko)
Germano Longo ...
Glauco Onorato ...
Il reduce
Silvano Tranquilli ...
L'operaio italiano
Marisa Traversi ...
Donna stazione
Gunars Cilinskis ...
Funzionario russo (as Gunnar Zilinskij)
Giorgio Basso
Gianni Bortolotti
Umberto Di Grazia
Giuliano Girardi


At the end of World War II, Giovanna, a war bride living near Milan refuses to accept that her husband, Antonio, missing on the Russian front, is dead. There's a flashback to their brief courtship near her hometown of Naples, his 12-day leave to marry her, ruses to keep from deployment, and the ultimate farewell. Some years after the war, still with no word from Antonio, Giovanna goes to Russia to find him, starting in the town near the winter battle when he disappeared. Armed with his photograph, what will she find? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Filmed in Russia from the Kremlin to the Ukraine. See more »


Drama | War


G | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

24 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sunflower  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The child of Giovanna (Sophia Loren) in this film was actually Loren's from her partnership with producer Carlo Ponti. See more »


Mascia tells Giovanna that when she found Antonio, he was hurt so badly that he had forgotten everything, including his own name. If that's true, then how did Mascia know his name was Antonio? See more »


Referenced in Lost Embrace (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Love, Hope, Truth and Renounce
14 August 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In Naples, in World War II, the local Giovanna (Sophia Loren) has a torrid love affair with the soldier Antonio (Marcello Mastroianni), who is ready to embark to Africa. Giovanna proposes him to get married with her to get a leave of twelve days; then Antonio pretends that he is insane and he is sent to an asylum. However, the doctors discover the farce and they give the option to Antonio to go to the Russian front as volunteer instead of being sued. When Antonio is missing in action in Russia, Giovanna does not accept that he is dead. Years after the end of the war, Giovanna travels to Russia with a picture of Antonio to seek him out in the countryside. When she finds a lead in a village, her hope becomes disappointment with truth about his disappearance.

"I Girasoli" is one of the most famous romances of cinema and discloses a beautiful story of love, hope, truth and renounce. Vittorio De Sica explores the chemistry between Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni to the best, supported by a magnificent cinematography and the wonderful soundtrack of Henry Mancini, which certainly is among the most beautiful ones of the cinema history. The screenplay uses much ellipsis, and my remarks are the lack of dates, leaving the viewer without any reference of how many years have passed; further, the dialogs in Russian that are not translated. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Os Girassóis da Rússia" ("The Russia's Sunflowers")

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

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