Starring Sophia Loren - 11/2
Spectacular not only in beauty but in spirit and talent, Sophia Loren remains one of the truly glamorous icons of international cinema. Our tribute to this legendary actress includes Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival, an interview special from the 2015 event in which the younger of Loren's two sons, Edoardo Ponti, engages her in an intimate 65-minute conversation about her life and long career.
During the interview before a live audience, Ponti asks his mother about her experiences growing up in World War II-era Naples, Italy, when she was so skinny that her friends nicknamed her "Toothpick." Despite that, the young Sophia was sure enough of herself to write in one of her schoolbooks, "Sophia Scicolone will be a great actress." When asked about her longevity as an actress, Loren tells her son that the secret is "stubbornness!"
Among the films screening on TCM is Human Voice (2014), a 25-minute adaptation of Jean Cocteau's famous play starring Loren in a tour-de-force showcase directed by son Edoardo. The role of a woman speaking on the telephone to a lover who is about to leave her for another woman was played by another Italian actress, Anna Magnani, in a 1948 film version. This performance, Loren says, fueled her desire to become an actress.
Also included in our Loren tribute is her Oscar®-winning performance in Two Women (1960), and four of her other films with her most frequent costar, Marcello Mastroianni. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), an Oscar®-winner as Best Foreign Language Film, cast the costars in three short stories about couples in different parts of Italy. Marriage Italian Style (1964) has Loren as a prostitute and Mastroianni as the businessman she tricks into marrying her.
In The Priest's Wife (1971), Loren is a distraught woman who discovers that her boyfriend is married and finds more than she bargained for when she turns to a Catholic priest (Mastroianni) for guidance. And in the film A Special Day (1977), Loren is a married woman who lives in Rome and entertains a homosexual neighbor (Mastroianni) on the day in 1938 when Hitler visits the city to meet with Mussolini.
By Roger Fristoe