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5 well-known Italian actresses

Italian cinema has thrived on its succession of outstanding women since the days of neorealism through the 1960s. Here are five artists whose work should be sought after because it combines grit, glamour, and inimitable star power.

It should come as no surprise that Italy, the diva’s birthplace, has produced a plethora of world-class actresses. Italian movie divas have been making audiences laugh and cry in equal measure since the very first narrative features, years before the Hollywood star system took shape. Silent film stars such as Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli, and Pina Menichelli created a sensation with unprecedented fervor, and even while acting techniques grew more confined with the introduction of sound, there was no reduction in quality or quantity. Isa Miranda, Alida Valli, and Clara Calamai emerged early in the sound period, as did Anna Magnani, the incomparable powerhouse of Italian screen acting. Magnani appears to be a decent place to start in our examination of five of Italy’s most renowned ladies.

Anna Magnani

Anna Magnani

Rome Open City (1945), Bellissima (1951), and Mamma Roma (1955) are all films set in Rome (1962)

What makes her unique?

Although she is best known for her dramatic drama, Anna Magnani also excelled in humor, as do many of Italy’s greatest actors. Her captivating, earthy authenticity in films like Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City drew her to Hollywood, where she went on to make other films. She earned an Oscar for best actress in The Rose Tattoo, Daniel Mann’s 1955 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play written especially for her. She also starred alongside Marlon Brando in another Williams adaption, The Fugitive Kind (1960). When she returned to Italy, she played the titular role in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Mamma Roma (1962). Three Women (1971), Magnani’s last important production directed by Alfredo Giannetti and scored by Ennio Morricone, is begging to be rediscovery.

The best moment

Mamma Roma’s night-time walks in Pasolini’s film are riveting, but it’s hard to look beyond the extraordinary sequence in Rome Open City when, after escaping the clutches of a Nazi soldier, Magnani’s character Pina makes a desperate run to her captured resistance fighter fiancé.

Silvana Mangano

Silvana Mangano

Films that are essential

Bitter Rice (1949), Naples Gold (1954), and My Wife (1964)

What makes her unique?

When director Giuseppe De Santis set out to find a female lead for his film Bitter Rice, a romantic criminal thriller set in the Po Valley, he envisioned a “Rita Hayworth from the Italian regions.” Soon realising that few established Italian actresses could carry off such a role, De Santis and producer Dino De Laurentiis cast Silvana Mangano, a former Miss Italia contestant who, despite only being in her late teens, already had some experience in front of the camera.

Mangano and De Santis received criticism for the heightened sexuality of the performance but there’s certainly no doubting its enduring impact, something that Mangano struggled with in later years as audiences came to expect similar bombshell roles. She married De Laurentiis shortly after completing Bitter Rice, yet she remained as selective in her project selection as possible. Between her mid-30s and mid-40s, she had a real golden period, bringing elegance and poise to films by directors such as Pasolini (Oedipus Rex, Theorem, The Decameron) and Luchino Visconti (Death in Venice, Ludwig, Conversation Piece).

The best moment

In an episode from Vittorio De Sica’s The Gold of Naples, Mangano plays a prostitute called Teresa whose marriage to a businessman turns out to be a sham. The scene toward the end of the episode when Teresa stands alone one night on an empty Naples street contemplating whether to return to confront her husband, is simply breathtaking. In a bravura dialogue-free five minutes, we see her mood change from dejection to anger to acceptance as she makes her way back to her marital home.

Monica Vitti

Monica Vitti

Films that are essential

Red Desert (1964), Jealousy, Italian Style (1970), That’s How We Women Are (1971)

What makes her unique?

Think of the modernist cinema of Michelangelo Antonioni and one actress inevitably comes to mind: Monica Vitti. She was an ever-present in the director’s so-called ‘tetralogy of alienation’ (L’avventura, La notte, L’eclisse, Red Desert) playing hypnotically beautiful, often inscrutable characters in films of great weight and seriousness. It was a surprise to many, therefore, when from the late 1960s onwards, she transformed into a brilliant comic actress, going for parts that offered up social critique through comedy. Vitti found perfect collaborators in directors such as Ettore Scola, Mario Monicelli and Dino Risi.

The best moment

In the early morning opening scene of L’eclisse, the long-term relationship between Victoria (Vitti) and Riccardo (Francisco Rabal) has fizzled out and both struggle to properly articulate their feelings. Red Desert is another high point of her career as a dramatic actress, but to get a sense of her skill at comedy, look no further than Risi’s That’s How We Women Are. She puts Peter Sellers to shame with twelve separate roles, ranging from a punctilious musician to the boisterous neapolitan mother of 22 children.

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

Essential films

Two Women (1960), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), A Special Day (1977)

What’s special about her?

Arguably the most famous Italian actress of them all, Sophia Loren had a similar entry into the world of film as Mangano but the two were very different, both in terms of their background and temperament. While Mangano never intended to be a diva and often felt uncomfortable with the trappings of stardom, Loren was far more driven to be an international star. Like Mangano, she married a producer (Carlo Ponti) but she gave him a freer hand to shape her career.

Her breakthrough came at the age of 19, when she played a pizzaiola who misplaces her wedding ring in an episode from The Gold of Naples. Between 1955 and 1960, she made a string of films in Hollywood, acting opposite the likes of Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Anthony Quinn, John Wayne and Clark Gable. De Sica’s war drama Two Women was the first picture to truly test her as an actress. Indeed, her work with De Sica – also including Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian Style (1964), Sunflower (1970) and The Voyage (1974) – would provide Loren with many of her most substantial roles.

Finest moment

Rightly or wrongly, Loren is probably best remembered for her striptease for Marcello Mastroianni in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, a scene which they recreated 30 years later in Robert Altman’s all-star 1993 satire Prêt-à-porter.

Outside of her work with De Sica, one of Loren’s greatest performances came in Scola’s A Special Day, again opposite Mastroianni. The film unfolds in a Rome apartment block in May 1938, on the occasion of Adolf Hitler’s visit to the city. Far away from the pomp and ceremony, we find Antonietta (Loren), a demure housewife who meets Gabriele (Mastroianni), a radio announcer who’s recently been dismissed from his position. In one scene, the pair are on the rooftop collecting Antonietta’s washing and discussing their political beliefs. After a moment of playfulness on Gabriele’s part, she finds herself drawn to him. Beautifully played by both actors, the scene shows Loren at her most vulnerable and sensitive.

Cardinale, Claudia

Cardinale, Claudia

Films that are essential

Sandra (1965), Once Upon a Time in the West (1961), Girl with a Suitcase (1961). (1968)

What makes her unique?

Cardinale, who was born and reared in Tunisia, made her debut Italian film, Mario Monicelli’s robbery comedy Big Deal on Madonna Street, in 1958. She played the younger sister of a fearsomely protective Sicilian gangster, and she showed enough potential for producer Franco Cristaldi (whom she eventually married) to introduce her as a significant new star and sex symbol. She next received accolades from none other than Pasolini for her performance in Pietro Germi’s criminal thriller The Facts of Murder (1959), a film Cardinale has always regarded pivotal in her growth as an actress.

During the 1960s and 1970s, her filmography quickly rose to become one of the most impressive of any European actress, with roles in future Italian cinema classics such as Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers (1960) and The Leopard (1963), Federico Fellini’s 812 (1963), and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West. She typically shone as part of an ensemble cast, but, like Magnani, Mangano, Loren, and Vitti, filmmakers would cast Cardinale in smaller-scale films and develop plots around her. In the early to mid 1960s, she played in two films: Valerio Zurlini’s Girl with a Suitcase and Luchino Visconti’s Sandra.

The best moment

Once Upon a Time in the West’s arrival of Cardinale’s character Jill McBain at Flagstone train station is one of the most unforgettable sequences in all of 1960s cinema. Jill exits the station after realizing that her husband Brett will not be there to meet her. Leone shoots this final piece in a single take, ascending far above the station to Ennio Morricone’s soaring soundtrack.

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Most attractive ladies of the twentieth century

These ladies are so beautiful that it’s difficult to take your gaze away from them.

The “Bright Side” portal has chosen the world’s twenty most beautiful ladies. Do you think they’re the most appealing?

Most attractive ladies of the twentieth century:

Monica Bellucci

Mila Kunis 

Angelina Jolie

Penelope Cruz

Scarlett Johansson

Jennifer Aniston

Megan Fox

Salma Hayek

Christina Hendricks

Jennifer Lopez

Christina Aguilera

Gisele Bundchen

Shakira Shakira

Kate Moss 

Katherine Heigl 

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Stories

Monica Bellucci is pleased with her new relationship after a difficult split

Monica Bellucci, one of the world’s prettiest actresses, is in love and a new relationship. True, the woman acknowledges that the split with Vincent Cassel was really tough for her.

But the famous movie actress is now happy and free of thoughts about her previous romance. True, fans of the duo continue to remind her of their relationship. According to starhit.ru, the representatives of the cinema themselves agreed to separate amicably and politely, retaining a wonderful connection and respect.

While Mr. Cassel enjoys his connection with his wife, Monica, who has just turned 20, is considerably more wary about her new romance. And, after initially refusing to comment on the novel, she has now confirmed that she is no longer single.

Instagram

The 54-year-old star is not only still working in the film industry, but he has also preserved the position of sex symbol. Her social media photographs are still being remarked on by adoring followers. True, the actress does not highlight this and has stated repeatedly that exterior beauty has never been her top priority.

Despite the very traumatic divorce, she keeps working, raising her two girls, and bringing up her new love on a regular basis. She mentioned it in the Instagram comments.

But for the time being, she merely claims she is able to believe in love and trust her spouse again. She previously stated that she felt disoriented and dissatisfied following a two-decade romance. In an interview with Paris Match, the actress stated that a completely new and fantastic time in her life has begun. And, while the magazine just hinted at the new relationship, it showed that happiness is also dependent on a new crush.

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Stories

Monica Bellucci ended her relationship with a much younger lover: “We will be friends until the end of our lives.”

The famous Italian actress Monica Bellucci’s romantic connection with the young artist Nicolas Lefebvre took an unexpected turn. The 54-year-old actor and the 36-year-old artist are no longer together. Ms. Bellucci revealed the split in an interview with a French newspaper.

According to galpost.com, the actress claimed that while the couple’s love connection has ended, they intend to remain friends. Ms. Bellucci did not give a reason for the breakup, according to galpost.com.

“Of course, Nicholas and I adore one other. He was a great teacher to me. He is a gifted individual with exceptional artistic ability. Unfortunately, our connection will alter from now on; we will stay friends until the end of our lives,” M. Bellucci said.

This is the Italian actress’s first meaningful relationship after her sad breakup with French actor Vincent Cassel. The young artist’s romantic relationship is thought to have begun in December, when the paparazzi managed to picture the two meeting surreptitiously. There was no mistake about it: the couple kissed on the street and exchanged pleasant feelings.

Bellucci and Lefebvre made their first public appearance together in March, at an event in Madrid. The performance of the duo has piqued the interest of the international media. According to M. Bellucci, the relationship’s secrecy drew her and N. Lefebvre very close. She and her ex-lover shared similar viewpoints and hobbies, including a love of travel.

“I’ve been dating the same person for a long time, and everything is OK.” His job requires him to travel extensively over the world. That’s why he completely understands me and approves of my lifestyle. “I am overjoyed,” M. Bellucci previously stated.

It is only fitting to recall that the actress, regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the world, was married twice. Claudio Carlos Basso, an Italian photographer, was Bellucci’s first husband. In the 1990s, the pair married and divorced in 1994. On the shooting of the film “L’appartement,” M. Bellucci met French actor V. Cassel. The actors’ wedding took place in 1999. The couple was the parents of two girls. Elder Deva is an exact replica of her famous mother. M. Bellucci and V. Cassel announced their divorce in August 2013.

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