8.1/10
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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 to Italy in May 1938.

Director:

Ettore Scola

Writers:

Ruggero Maccari (screenplay), Ettore Scola (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:
Sophia Loren ... Antonietta Taberi
Marcello Mastroianni ... Gabriele
John Vernon ... Emanuele Taberi
Françoise Berd ... Concierge
Patrizia Basso Patrizia Basso ... Romana Taberi
Tiziano De Persio Tiziano De Persio ... Arnaldo Taberi
Maurizio Di Paolantonio Maurizio Di Paolantonio ... Fabio Taberi
Antonio Garibaldi Antonio Garibaldi ... Littorio Taberi
Vittorio Guerrieri Vittorio Guerrieri ... Umberto Taberi
Alessandra Mussolini Alessandra Mussolini ... Maria Luisa Taberi
Nicole Magny Nicole Magny ... Officer's Daughter
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Storyline

It's the late 1930's Rome. It's a national holiday in Italy today for the first state visit of Adolf Hitler to the country. The occasion is being marked by a lavish parade with both Hitler and Benito Mussolini to celebrate their political friendship/alliance in the name of fascism. Most of the Roman populace will attend the parade to celebrate with their leader. Two that will not be are the following. Antonietta Taberi, who would have liked to have gone to the parade, has to stay at home to attend to her domestic chores in duty to her husband Emanuele and their six children, all who have gone to the parade without her. Gabriele is a former announcer on Italian Public Radio. Despite living in the same apartment complex (Gabriele only for the last two months) with their apartment windows facing each other across the courtyard, Antonietta and Gabriele meet for the first time today in Antonietta's need to access his apartment to retrieve her escaped myna bird. Their encounter is important... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Loren and Mastroianni together again in a very special movie. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Canada

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

October 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Special Day See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Right at the beginning of the film, the sequence plan wanted by Ettore Scola for describing the building is one of the most complex and long in the history of Italian cinema. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, Antonietta is humming the song "Mamma" by Benjamino Gigli, but that wasn't released until two years later, in 1940. See more »

Quotes

Gabriele: [reading a Mussolini quote] "Genius is incompatible with the physiology and psyche of the female and is always strictly masculine." You agree?
Antonietta: Of course I agree. Why? Aren't the history books always full of men?
Gabriele: Sure. Maybe too full. There's no room for anyone else. Least of all women.
Antonietta: You know, you're a tough one to figure out.
Gabriele: My mother, for example, wasn't male, but she was a genius. She wrote. She painted. She worked as a bookkeeper and supported the family, not my father. She made all the ...
See more »

Connections

Edited into Marcello, una vita dolce (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful
28 December 2006 | by Camera-ObscuraSee 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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