|German poster||Belgian poster||Italian poster||Italian DVD|
Via Materdei, Naples
dates: February - March 1954
Sophia Loren (
Ponti - De Laurentiis (Rome)
The film is made up of six episodes. The others are: Il guappo (The Racketeer) with Totò; Funeralino (The Little Funeral); I giocatori (The Gamblers) with Vittorio De Sica; Teresa with Silvana Mangano; Il professore (The Professor) with Eduardo De Filippo. The segment Funeralino was deleted from all release versions, and the short segment on Il professore only appeared in the original Italian version. Italian DVD prints now have all episodes. The American dubbed version is called Every Day's a Holiday.
The twenty-minute episode is memorable for a scene of Sophia strutting through the neighborhood during a rainstorm, with her drenched dress clinging to her body, her bosoms bouncing and her eyes flashing at every man she passes. And as it happens, Sophia catches bronchial pneumonia from the artificial downpours during a cold February month in
is terrorized with the idea of being directed by one of the
greatest Italian filmmakers and, for the first and last time in her
drinks up two cognacs prior to her first scene on the first day of
"A revelation. She was created differently, behaved differently, affected me differently, from any other woman I have known. I looked at that face, those unbelievable eyes, and saw it all as a miracle. (...) The outstanding quality was her impulsiveness. Neapolitans are extroverts. All her gestures and statements were always outgoing. Nothing is held inside. No internal reflection. I don't say this only of Sophia, all we Neapolitans are the same. We improvise. We speak first, think later. The women are not particularly elegant. In fact they generally have bad taste in clothes. They go by instinct. With Sophia, in her private life, in her love, in her work and in her passions, she is always instinctive, never calculating."
Vittorio De Sica in Donald Zec's book Sophia: An intimate biography.
the first day De Sica became my school, my teacher, my mentor, my
everything. Every day he would arrive on the set and say, 'Ah, Sophia cara,
it's so beautiful to see you first thing in the morning, you make my
couldn't have found anyone better to be with me in the beginning of my
knew that Gold of Naples, under de Sica's direction, could
take her out of the two-bit movies into the international scene. She
the set shaking with terror. And de Sica knew it. He placed both his
hers. "Listen, there's nothing to worry about. Don't act. I show
you." He did not direct her. He wooed a performance from her. That
seductive technique was to continue for seven more pictures. A flawless
managed to uncover the crucial element of her personality: Sophia had
erected a wall around herself, around that deep, secret part of her
emotions rendered more vulnerable. She had a habit of hiding behind
and she liked it there. But her real nature was dramatic and volatile,
typically Neapolitan, and her reactions - joy, sorrow, anger,
everything - were excessive. So she kept them well hidden behind that
when she performed, she could climb over that wall and liberate her
profound emotions. She was capable of shouting, laughing, being
arguing, reaching very high emotional peak."
are a natural force. Respond with your entire body. Every bit of you
must count, including the tips of your little fingers."