Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Perhaps The Coolest Two Italian Actors Who Ever Lived

Posted by Peter Quennell

For full screen, mouse-over & click box at lower right.

Stars In An Italian Film Noir

This clip is from the epochal 1949 movie Riso Amaro (Bitter Rice).

The dancers are Silvana Mangano and Vittorio Gassman.

Vittorio’s character, from elsewhere, had recently stolen a diamond necklace and he was keeping a low profile with his female accomplice in the Italian ricefields region north east of Genoa.

Silvana’s character, from the region, had happened upon the necklace, and she is wearing it here.

Bitter Rice was the culmination of the anti-glamorous anti-hip Italian neorealism style which prided itself on being the opposite of Hollywoodism.

This movie paved the way to the astonishing wave of the 1950s through 1970s which included La Dolce Vita, Bicycle Thieves, Amarcord, La Notte, La Strada, 8-1/2, Rocco and His Brothers, and many other Italian classics which did so well.

And Silvana? She paved the way to the emergence of such similarly cool and fearless actresses as Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Monica Vitti, Anna Magnani, Claudia Cardinale, Giulietta Masina, and Virna Lisi.

She created the mold. Not bad for an 18-year-old! As Silvana was when she starred in this movie. Two years previously, at 16, she had been crowned Miss Rome, and that led to this first of many starring roles.

The song that so suits this clip is Caballo Viejo, a classic Venezuelan mambo re-recorded worldwide.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/18/21 at 08:21 PM in


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