7.9/10
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Bellissima (1951)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | October 1953 (UK)
A woman from the low class desperately tries to get her daughter into the movies.

Director:

Luchino Visconti

Writers:

Cesare Zavattini (story), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Magnani ... Maddalena Cecconi
Walter Chiari ... Alberto Annovazzi
Tina Apicella Tina Apicella ... Maria Cecconi
Gastone Renzelli Gastone Renzelli ... Spartaco Cecconi
Tecla Scarano Tecla Scarano ... Tilde Spernanzoni
Lola Braccini Lola Braccini ... Photographer's Wife
Arturo Bragaglia Arturo Bragaglia ... Photographer
Nora Ricci ... Laundry Worker
Vittorina Benvenuti Vittorina Benvenuti
Linda Sini Linda Sini ... Mimmetta
Teresa Battaggi Teresa Battaggi ... Snob Mother
Gisella Monaldi Gisella Monaldi ... Door-keeper
Amalia Pellegrini Amalia Pellegrini
Luciana Ricci Luciana Ricci
Giuseppina Arena Giuseppina Arena
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Storyline

Film director Blasetti is looking for a little girl for his new movie. Along with other mothers, Maddelena takes her daugther to Cinecittà, hoping she'll be selected and become a star. She is ready to sacrifice anything for little Maria, even if her husband would prefer they save their little money for the rent, instead of paying teachers, hairdressers or bribes for her illusions. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Italy's Greatest Actress in her Prize-Winning Performance! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

October 1953 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bellísima See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Film Bellissima See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the final scene, Anna Magnani hears the film playing outside her room and remarks that she hears Burt Lancaster. Magnani would win an Oscar four years later for The Rose Tattoo, in which she would costar with Lancaster. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Visconti (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Il valzer dello zigo zago
(uncredited)
Written by C. Deani and Dino Olivieri
Performed by Anna Magnani
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Many qualities but Belissima is not equal to the sum of its parts
12 January 2018 | by adrian-43767See all my reviews

I am a great admirer of Luchino Visconti, so it saddens me to say that I did not like this film. Of course, with an actress of Magnani's quality, you do not walk away empty-handed, she excels in parts, but is ultimately stereotyped by the "earthy Italian female" character, one who remains sexually virtuous in spite of other questionable behavior, and puts herself in unnecessary situations that erode her reputation in the eyes of husband and acquaintances.

The script is thin, in spite of interesting asides involving her relationships with child, husband, and would-be lover. B&W photography is standard, downright unimaginative but effective. Acting is the film's best asset but, as far as I am concerned, does not save it - especially because the ending is so obvious and long-winded.

It is interesting to compare BELISSIMA with LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, as both focus on beauty/singing competitions for young girls. Granted, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE was done 50 years later, but it flows far better and its ramifications are far wider and more meaningful.


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