La mortadella
by Mario Monicelli


Italy - December 22, 1971 - La mortadella - 110'
USA (New York City) - June 7, 1972 - Lady Liberty - 100'
West Germany - July 14,  1972 - Mortadella
France (Paris) - August 9, 1972 - Mortadella - 109'
Spain - 1972 - Mortadela - 90' (attendance: 720,832)

American poster French poster Italian poster Italian poster


A Neapolitan girl, Maddalena Ciarrapico, is detained at the airport in New York, where she has gone ta join her fiancé, because of a mortadella which she has brought with her and which cannot pass through Customs because of an American law prohibiting the importation of sa usages. The Customs authorities resolve the case by eating the mortadella. Maddalena leaves the airport followed by a journalist who wants ta take advantage of the episode concerning the sausage ta arouse controversy over the absurdity of certain American laws. The journalist puts the girl up at his house and this provokes a reaction on the part of her fiancé, who plans an attack against the journalist. On her part Maddalena reacts by destroying her fiancé’s restaurant, since she has also come to realize his totallack of interest in her. Disappointed in everyone and everything, Maddalena goes off on her own in the immense American metropolis. (Enrico Lancia)
Story: Renato W. Spera.


New York City (USA)
Guastella, Carpi, (Italy)
Cinecittà (Italy)

Filming dates: May 17 through July 1971


Sophia Loren (Maddalena Ciarrapico)
William Devane (Jock Fenner)
Luigi Proietti (Michele Bruni)
Danny De Vito (Mancuso)


Photography (Technicalor):
Alfio Contini
Sophia's Costume design:
Enrico Sabbatini
Sophia's Makeup Artist:
Giuseppe Annunziata
Ada Palombi
Lucio Dalla, Rosalino Cellamare
Still Photographer:
Tazio Secchiaroli
Carlo Ponti for c.c. Champion (Rome)
Les Films Concordia (Paris) 


Mortadella, which is the word for a certain type of spicy sausage made from pork and beef. Since the nearest equivalent to mortadella in American English is baloney, it seemed advisible to pick another title for the U.S. release, which became Lady Liberty.

Sophia sings the song La Storia di Maddalena written by Lucio Dalla and Rosalino Cellamare.

First movie filmed in New York City since That Kind of Woman in 1958.

First movie by Monicelli to be shot in English.

Minor role for Susan Sarandon as Sally.


"Most importantly, there is Miss Loren, who, even in a comedy that doesn't work, comes as close as possible to being a tactile pleasure
in a movie of two dimensions."
Vincent Canby, New York Times, 8 jun 1972

"Too bad. A truly splendid Sophia Loren, in excellent form as an actress and as a woman, should have been dealt quite different material. Not even her performance - with its deserving simplicity, humanity and conviction - is enough to justify the presence of a fine actress."
Enrico Bassano, Il Cittadino, 28 dec 1971

"Minus a co-star of equal or alsmost equal marquee impact in Mario Monicelli's sentimental satire comedy, Sophia Loren gives a semi-static performance in a series of composed frames obviously dedicated to her stunning facials. La Loren, however, is today no longer the plain buxomy gal from a mortadella plant in Bologna, but sleek and sophisticated - an enticintg femme fatale. In Mortadella, she's snared between past image and present self."
Hank Werba, Variety.

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

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