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A Brief Vacation (1973)

Una breve vacanza (original title)
Clara, diagnosed with tubercolosis, is treated in a sanatorium in the Alps, where she can finally take a break from her miserable life.


Vittorio De Sica


Rodolfo Sonego (story), Cesare Zavattini
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Florinda Bolkan ... Clara Mataro
Renato Salvatori ... The husband
Daniel Quenaud Daniel Quenaud ... Luigi
José María Prada ... Ciranni (as Josè Maria Prada)
Teresa Gimpera ... Gina
Hugo Blanco ... The brother in law
Julia Peña Julia Peña ... Edvige (as Julia Pena)
Miranda Campa Miranda Campa ... Nurse Guidotti
Angela Cardile Angela Cardile ... The redhead
Anna Carena ... The mother in law
Monica Guerritore ... Maria
Maria Mizar Maria Mizar ... Nurse Garin
Alessandro Romanazzi Alessandro Romanazzi ... The son
Adriana Asti ... Scanziani
Enrico Baroni Enrico Baroni
Learn more

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A women lives a miserable life in the basement of her Milan apartment, with her boring inlaws and three children (boys). Her husband has been injured. Her bleak life takes an unexpected turn when she is diagnosed with tuberculosis and has to go to a sanatorium in the Italian Alps. At the medical clinic in Milan she meets young mechanic with the similar health problems. At the sanatorium she meets again the same man and they start a passionate love affair. All good things must come to an end. When she is cured, she has to return to that rathole from which she only briefly emerged. Written by marty gottlieb <anangke@erols.com>, prokurator@gmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Vittorio De Sica's Final Masterpiece! See more »


Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to producer Arthur Cohn, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Jane Fonda all wanted to play the role of Clara Mataro which ultimately went to Florinda Bolkan. See more »


Referenced in Carrie (1976) See more »


Music by Manuel De Sica
Lyrics by Gene Lees
Sung by Christian De Sica
See more »

User Reviews

Interruption in the Alps
27 March 2009 | by Chris_MiddlebrowSee all my reviews

A Brief Vacation is a quiet Italian drama from 1973, directed by Vittorio De Sica who was acclaimed for The Bicycle Thief a quarter century earlier.

Florinda Bolkan plays a female factory worker in Milan whose husband's employment has been sidelined for the time being by injury. Thus she is the breadwinner for a family that includes children, a mother-in-law, and a brother-in-law. She already is close to collapse from the wear and tear of her job, and the fatigue of the train commutes to and from it. Family members prove extremely selfish, increasing the stress and burden.

But she has a spot on her lung, a patch of tuberculosis, the equivalent of a golden war wound in combat. There is insurance for health care, and a guarantee of a continued flow of salary during leave for recuperation. The movie makes a welcome shift to a sanatorium in the Alps, where the only demands are to get plenty of sleep and rest and be pampered by the doctors, nurses, and other staffers. This is the brief vacation from which the movie title derives, and brings a chance to meet new friends and a pause to reflect on life. De Sica via the interruption produces another winner.

It might be added that it was a long wait to see the movie again. A Brief Vacation was never released on VHS, and consequently it took three full decades, and the advent of the DVD era, to bring the film to home viewers. Take advantage.

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Release Date:

9 February 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Brief Vacation See more »

Filming Locations:

Milan, Lombardia, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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