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A Special Day (1977)

Una giornata particolare (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | October 1977 (USA)
Two neighbors, a persecuted journalist and a resigned housewife, meet during Hitler's visit in Italy in 1938.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Emanuele, the husband of Antonietta
Françoise Berd ...
Patrizia Basso ...
Tiziano De Persio ...
Maurizio Di Paolantonio ...
Antonio Garibaldi ...
Vittorio Guerrieri ...
Alessandra Mussolini ...
Maria Luisa
Nicole Magny ...
Officer's Daughter


The film is set during the late 1930s: the occasion is the meeting between Mussolini and Hitler in Rome. Left alone in her tenement home when her fascist husband runs off to attend the historic event, Sophia Loren strikes up a friendship with her mysterious neighbor Mastroianni. As the day segues into night, Loren and Mastroianni develop a very special relationship that will radically alter both of their outlooks on life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A special film about two special people. See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

October 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Special Day  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Italy's official submission to the 1978's Oscars as Best Foreign Language Film. See more »


Hitler's address, heard in the background, is not from his visit to Rome but from the 1934 Nuremberg Party Meeting, more particularly from his address to the German Youth on the third day. He's heard summoning them to be "strong and peaceful", "courageous and peace-loving". See more »


Gabriele: So why aren't you laughing? You should have everything you want? A home, a husband, six children. Why aren't you laughing?
See more »


Referenced in La tarea (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Sober but beautiful and effective masterpiece: brilliant
11 July 2001 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

How is it possible that this brilliant masterpiece only received 243 votes and I write only the second comment? Do something about that and go and see this film before you read any further! It is the most human film I've ever seen with one of the greatest performances in history of cinema. Forget about 'Todo sobre mi madre' and 'La vita e bella' as they are surpassed by 'Una Giornata Particolare' by (light)years. It never gets ambitious nor pretentious in trying to capture the 'crucial problems of the world', but instead is an extensive characterstudy that I consider 2 B 1 of the most important films ever made: not especially for its influence on cinema, but for society and for people as human beings (after all, we ARE human). Cinematographer Pasqualino De Santis (Lucky Luciano, Morte a Venezia, L'Innocente) created a sober but beautiful and effective masterpiece and proves that the best films don't have to be expensive.

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni made a few other films together, but this has to be their best. Scola's (Brutti sporchi e cattivi, C'eravamo tanto amati) very best too of course! I am glad that I saw this film first about twelve years ago, because it is not a film I would have wanted to miss. It may not be very accessible (you have to patient), but I think I got the point the first time I saw it. The day portrayed is not special because of the parade that's going on, but because of the attention and interest two completely different people CAN have for each other IF they are open enough. See for yourself if there ultimately arises real friendship.

Recommendations are 'Il Conformista' (1970, Bertolucci) and 'Amarcord' (1974, Fellini), which also portray some human behaviour in the shadow of upcoming fascism, but in a more visual way. Further recommendations could be 'Kaos' (1984, Taviani Bros.) and 'La Terrazza' (1980, Scola).

Why o why can't we vote 11 :(

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