|German poster||French poster||American poster||Italian poster|
River valley (Italy)
dates : August - November 1954
: August - November 1954
Sophia Loren (Nives Mangolini)
Rick Battaglia (Gino Lodi)
Gérard Oury (Enzo Cinti)
Lise Bourdin (Tosca)
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Armando Trovajoli
Federico Patellani, Sergio Strizzi, Otello Martelli
Sophia's voice is dubbed by:
Marion Delger (German)
Basilio Franchina for Excelsa Films (
La donna del fiume is Sophia's first film to get American producers' attention. It is the film that convinces Stanley Kramer and MGM to sign Sophia in The Pride and the Passion two years later. Splendid Technicolor photography heightens Sophia's voluptuousness who is billed in the USA as "Sophia the Sizzler" and "the most luscious female on the screen today".
Sophia now earns $70,000 per film and appears on magazine covers everywhere in the world. The rivalry between Sophia and Gina Lollobrigida begins at this time.
It is said that Ponti invested all the money he had to produce this movie but he did not tell Sophia until after. "If he had", Sophia said later, " I wouldn't have had the courage to face the camera." On the last day of shooting, he comes to the set and offers Sophia a ring with two diamonds.
one of the first times Sophia feels she does not have to do everything
Soldati asks and they disagree on set more than once.
experiences several asthma crisis during the shooting in the Po valley
Ponti comes to the set on the
last day of shooting and offers Sophia a ring, which is the first
significant gift Carlo offers Sophia.
Since Ponti couldn't be at the studio or on location every day, he selected his longtime associate, Basilio Franchina, to be the film's associate producer. Franchina spent so much time around Sophia that many believed him to be her bodyguard and under orders from Ponti to make sure she didn't get romantically involved with any of her male associates.
Warren G. Harris, Sophia Loren: A Biography.
who's ever seen a pin-up of
Sophia Loren knows she's all female and then some. But what an actress,
That's the surprising thing. And the combination of such an actress and
woman is pretty terrific."
be fair one cannot help but point out the
decisive achievement of the beautiful Sophia Loren, who perhaps for the
time is shown to be a spontaneously quick, and convincing actress,
a temperament that bodes well for her career as a performer - ardent,
expressive, often singularly animated.”
"La donna del fiume, a
post-neorealist melodrama set among the exploited poorest of the poor
in northern Italy, casts Sophia as a girl in an eel cannery who
ultimately ends up cutting cane at the mouth of the Po River. She
sports ill-fitting shorts, rustic sweaters, and sun hats - and she owns
sex appeal is a natural physical asset. She has it in her, and no
amount of artificiality could ever conceal it. When she kisses her
leading man, you can feel the reaction all the way back in the movie
"Soldati, le metteur en scène, a choisi de faire un documentaire - émouvant à plus d'un titre - sur la géographie physique de sa vedette. Après ce film, il est bien peu de régions de la surface de cette planète que nous ne connaissions pas par coeur.
Robert Chazal, Paris-Presse, 21 nov 1955