I girasoli
by Vittorio De Sica


Italy (Rome, Teatro dell'Opera) - March 14, 1970 - I girasoli - 108'
West Germany - September 24, 1970 - Sonnenblumen - 108'
USA (New York, Radio City Music Hall) - September 24, 1970 - Sunflower - 101'
France (Paris) - October 14, 1970 - Les fleurs du soleil - 110'
Spain - 1970 - Los girasoles - 100' (attendance: 2,992,298)

Japanese poster Italian poster French poster Belgian poster


During the Second World War, Giovanna, a young Neapolitan woman, marries Antonio, a soldier she has fallen in love with. By doing so she hopes to be able to ward off his departure for the front. But although Antonio’s transfer to Africa is averted, he is not spared being sent to Russia. The soldier is never heard from again. Giovanna does not resign herself however, and once the war is over, and as soon as the political situations permits, she manages to go to Russia in search of her husband. In the end she finds him, because Antonio is really alive: having lost his memory in combat action during the retreat, he had forgotten his past and married a Russian girl who came to his aid. Giovanna departs in despair but is determined to forget her husband. But Antonio follows her and, in Milan, during a storm, he tries to convince her to go back to their life together. Giovanna refuses his proposal, and though she still loves him, urges him to go back to Russia and not abandon those who are now his wife and children. (Enrico Lancia)
Story and screenplay: Cesare Zavattini, Antonio Guerra, Gheorghij Mdivani.


Moscow, Poltava, Ukraine (USSR)
Bereguardo, Tor Caldara beach, Vigevano, Zerbolò (Italy)
Cinecittà, Rome (Italy)
  July 10 through September


Sophia Loren (Giovanna)
Marcello Mastroianni (Antonio)
Ljudmila Saveljeva (Mascia)
Galina Andreeva (Valentina)


Photography (Technicolor):
Giuseppe Rotunno
Sophia's Costumes:
Enrico Sabbatini, Sartoria Mayer
Sophia's Makeup Artist:
Giuseppe Annunziata
Sophia's Hair Stylist:
Ada Palombi
Henry Mancini
Still photographers:
Tazio Secchiaroli, Leo Massa
Carlo Ponti and Arthur Cohn in association with Joseph E. Levine
c.c. Champion S.p.A. (Rome) - Les Films Concordia (Paris) - Mosfilm (Moscow)


Sophia wins the David di Donatello Award for Best Actress.

First film starring Sophia following the birth of her first son, Carlo, Jr, who actually plays Sophia's infant son in a part of the film shot at Cinecittà.

With I Girasoli it is one of the first times that the Soviet government permits moviemakers from the West to work there.

To make things comfortable in the swampy area of Vigevano for both Sophia and Carlo Jr., Ponti has the site bombarded with gallons of mosquito repellant launched from small planes.

A few scenes are shot at Ponti's estate in Zerbolo in August 1969.


"You can talk about Sophia Loren all you want but you can't fail to recognize that on the screen she is something that other actresses are not, and will never be, a bundle of nerves that assault the public, a tide of charm and grace which fills you with the force of human warmth. And in Vittorio De Sica's Sunflower, Sophia Loren has affirmed her greatest quality: her likeability."
Vittorio Ricciuti, Il Mattino. (16 mar 1970)

"In terms of visual sophistication, l girasoli is a radical departure from Loren's premotherhood films. Her character has, in effect, digested both Cesira from La ciociara and the zeitgeist of the 1960s, and indicates the direction in which De Sica and Loren would take her style."
Deirdre Donohue, Sophia Style.

"Miss Loren is marvelous and Mr. Mastroianni is fine in an unpleasant role."
William E. Sarmento, Lowell Sun, 6 oct 1970

"Miss Loren is lovely when she is a young woman and ages gracefully, and as usual her emotions run leagues deep under those Italian eyes."
Nadine Subotnik, Cedar Rapids Gazette, 16 oct 1970

"Miss Loren is so somber and unloving after Mastroianni's departure for war that the moviegoer ends to spend the time appreciating her
stunning figure and sleek legs."
Joan E. Vadeboncoeur, Syracuse Herald Journal, 4 jan 1971

Copyrights for all photos belong to their respective owners.
© Excelsior Communication - 2007

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