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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.

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(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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Emanuele, the husband of Antonietta
Françoise Berd ...
Caretaker
Patrizia Basso ...
Romana
Tiziano De Persio ...
Arnaldo
Maurizio Di Paolantonio ...
Fabio
Antonio Garibaldi ...
Littorio
Vittorio Guerrieri ...
Umberto
Alessandra Mussolini ...
Maria Luisa
Nicole Magny ...
Officer's Daughter
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A special film about two special people.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

October 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Special Day  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Gabriele: Order is the virtue of the mediocrity.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful
28 December 2006 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

A SPECIAL DAY (Ettore Scola - Italy/Canada 1977).

Every once in a while, you come across a film that really touches a nerve. This one offers a very simple premise, almost flawlessly executed in every way and incredibly moving at the same time. It's surprising Ettore Scola's "Una giornate particulare" is relatively unheralded, even hated by some critics. Time Out calls it 'rubbish' and Leonard Maltin, somewhat milder, 'pleasant but trifling.' I disagree, not only because this film is deeply moving, but within its simple story it shows us more insights about daily life in fascist Italy than most films I've seen. The cinematography is distinctly unflashy, even a bit bland, and the storyline straightforward, which might explain the film's relative unpopularity. Considering late '70s audiences weren't exactly spoiled with great Italian films, it's even stranger this one didn't really catch on with the critics.

The film begins with a ten-minute collage of archive footage from Hitler's visit to Italy on may 8th 1938. Set against this background, we first meet Antonietta (Loren), a lonely, love-ridden housewife with six children in a roman apartment building. One day, when her Beo escapes, she meets her neighbour Gabriele (Mastroianni), who seems to be only one in the building not attending the ceremonies. He is well-mannered, cultured and soon she is attracted to him. During the whole film, we hear the fascist rally from the radio of the concierge hollering through the courtyard. Scola playfully uses the camera to make us part of the proceedings. After the opening scene, the camera swanks across the courtyard of the modernist (hypermodern at the time) apartment block, seemingly searching for our main characters, whom we haven't met yet.

Marcello Mastrionani and Sophia Loren are unforgettable in the two leading roles, all the more astonishing since they are cast completely against type. Canadian born John Vernon plays Loren's husband, but he is only on screen in the first and last scene. I figure his voice must have been dubbed, since he's not of Italian descent and never lived there, to my knowledge, so I cannot imagine he speaks Italian. If his voice has been dubbed, I didn't notice at all. On the contrary, he's completely believable as an Italian, even more than the rest of the cast. The story is simple but extremely effective, the performances are outstanding, the ending is just perfect and the framing doesn't come off as overly pretentious but works completely. Don't miss out on this one.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10


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