Vittorio De Sica


Actor, Director
Vittorio De Sica

About

Birth Place
Sora, , IT
Born
July 07, 1902
Died
November 13, 1974
Cause of Death
Lung Cancer

Biography

Italian director Vittorio De Sica was also a notable actor who appeared in over 100 films, to which he brought the same charm and brightness which infused his work behind the camera. By 1918, at the age of 16, De Sica had already begun to dabble in stage work and in 1923 he joined Tatiana Pavlova's theater company. His good looks and breezy manner made him an overnight matinee idol in It...

Photos & Videos

Marriage Italian Style - Movie Posters
The Bicycle Thief - Movie Poster
Two Women - Title Lobby Card

Family & Companions

Giuditta Rissone
Wife
Actor. Divorced in 1968 by law when De Sica immigrated to France.
Maria Mercader
Wife
Actor. Married in 1968; divorced in 1974.

Notes

"Do you know how was born the neo-realist style? After the war we have no studio, no negative, nothing. And a newspaperman ask me: 'What picture do you want to make?' And I say: 'I don't know. Maybe the boys.' Because I watch the boys on the street, the shoeshine boys. And they steal some money for a horse. And I look in Rome and find someone to give me money to make this picture."And I look at a man, a colleague of mine, Roberto Rossellini. And I sit on the steps and I ask Roberto: 'What you do there?' And he says: 'A lady will maybe give me some money to make a picture about a priest in Rome during the liberation. And you, Vittorio?' And I say: 'I don't know, maybe about shoeshine.' He says: 'Ah, good luck.'" --Vittorio De Sica in a 1972 interview with Jerry Tallmer quoted in New York Post. October 3, 1991.

Biography

Italian director Vittorio De Sica was also a notable actor who appeared in over 100 films, to which he brought the same charm and brightness which infused his work behind the camera.

By 1918, at the age of 16, De Sica had already begun to dabble in stage work and in 1923 he joined Tatiana Pavlova's theater company. His good looks and breezy manner made him an overnight matinee idol in Italy with the release of his first sound picture, "La Vecchia Signora" (1931). De Sica turned to directing during WWII, with his first efforts typical of the light entertainments of the time. It was with "The Children are Watching Us" (1942) that he began to use non-professional actors and socially conscious subject matter. The film was also his first of many collaborations with scenarist Cesare Zavattini, a combination which shaped the postwar Italian Neorealist movement.

With the end of the war, De Sica's films began to express the personal as well as collective struggle to deal with the social problems of post-Mussolini Italy. "Shoeshine" (1946), "The Bicycle Thief" (1948) and "Umberto D" (1952) combined classic neorealist traits--working-class settings, anti-authoritarianism, emotional sincerity--with technical and compositional sophistication and touches of poignant humor.

De Sica continued his career as an actor with sufficient success to finance some of his directorial projects, playing a host of twinkling-eyed fathers and Chaplinesque figures in films such as "Pane, amore e gelosia" (1954). His later directorial career was highlighted by his work with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in "Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow" (1963), which won the Oscar as best foreign film. After a period of decline in which he came to be perceived as a slick, rather tasteless master of burlesque, De Sica resurfaced with "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" (1971), a baroque political romance which won him another Oscar for best foreign film.

Active to the end, De Sica appeared as himself in Ettore Scola's "We All Loved Each Other So Much" (1975), which was released after his death.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Boom (2017)
Director
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1987)
Director
The Voyage (1974)
Director
Una Breve Vacanza (1973)
Director
We'll Call Him Andrea (1972)
Director
Sunflower (1970)
Director
A Place for Lovers (1969)
Director
The Witches (1968)
Director of "A Night Like Any Other"
Woman Times Seven (1967)
Director
The Witches (1967)
Director
A Young World (1966)
Director
After the Fox (1966)
Director
Marriage Italian Style (1964)
Director
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1964)
Director
The Condemned of Altona (1963)
Director
Boccaccio '70 (1962)
Director of "The Raffle"
Two Women (1961)
Director
The Roof (1959)
Director
The Gold of Naples (1957)
Director
Indiscretion of an American Wife (1954)
Director
Umberto D. (1952)
Director
Miracle in Milan (1951)
Director
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Director
Shoeshine (1946)
Director
Porta del Cielo (1945)
Director
The Children are Watching Us (1944)
Director
Un Garibaldino al Convento (1942)
Director
Teresa Venerdi (1941)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Italy After the War (1994)
Himself
Andy Warhol's Dracula (1992)
We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974)
Il Delitto Matteotti (1973)
Snow Job (1972)
Enrico Dolphi
Ettore lo Fusto (1972)
Trastevere (1972)
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969)
Shoemaker
The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968)
Cesare Celli
The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)
Cardinal Rinaldi
My Wife's Enemy (1967)
After the Fox (1966)
Himself
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965)
The Count
The Moralist (1964)
Il Presidente
Eva (1964)
Lafayette (1963)
Bancroft
The Lady Doctor (1963)
Marquis De Vitti
Angel in a Taxi (1963)
God
The Wonders of Aladdin (1961)
Genie
The Millionairess (1961)
Joe
The Angel Wore Red (1960)
Gen. Clave
It Started in Naples (1960)
Mario Vitale
Austerlitz (1960)
General Della Rovere (1959)
The Monte Carlo Story (1957)
Count Dino della Fiana
A Farewell to Arms (1957)
Maj. Allesandro Rinaldi
The Gold of Naples (1957)
Fathers And Sons (1957)
Nero's Mistress (1956)
Seneca
Bread, Love and Jealousy (1955)
The Sign of Venus (1955)
Too Bad She's Bad (1955)
Bread, Love and Dreams (1954)
The Earrings of Madame De... (1954)
Fabrizio Donati
Buongiorno Elefante! (1952)
Mr Garetti
Altri Tempi (1952)
("On Location" "The Amorous Bus Driver")
Un Garibaldino al Convento (1942)
Teresa Venerdi (1941)
La Canzone del Sole (1934)
The Clemenceau Affair (1918)

Writer (Feature Film)

A Place for Lovers (1969)
Screenplay (see note)
Two Women (1961)
Screenwriter
The Gold of Naples (1957)
Screenplay
Umberto D. (1952)
Screenplay
Miracle in Milan (1951)
Screenplay
Porta del Cielo (1945)
Screenwriter
The Children are Watching Us (1944)
Screenplay
Un Garibaldino al Convento (1942)
Screenwriter
Teresa Venerdi (1941)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

The Roof (1959)
Producer
Indiscretion of an American Wife (1954)
Producer
Umberto D. (1952)
Producer
Buongiorno Elefante! (1952)
Producer
Miracle in Milan (1951)
Producer
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Le Bal (1984)
Song Performer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Indiscretion of an American Wife (1954)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Italy After the War (1994)
Other
Splendor (1988)
Other
We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974)
Other

Cast (Special)

The Small Miracle (1973)
The World of Sophia Loren (1962)
Guest

Life Events

1918

Screen acting debut in "The Clemenceau Affair"

1919

Acted exclusively on the stage

1940

First film as co-director (with Giuseppe Amato), "Rose Scarlatte"

1941

Solo directing debut, "Maddalena zero in condotta"

1942

First collaboration with scenarist Cesare Zavattini, "I bambini ci guardano/The Children Are Watching Us"

1954

Directed "The Gold of Naples", first of eight films with Sophia Loren

Photo Collections

Marriage Italian Style - Movie Posters
Marriage Italian Style - Movie Posters
The Bicycle Thief - Movie Poster
Here is an original Italian movie poster for The Bicycle Thief (1948), directed by Vittorio De Sica.
Two Women - Title Lobby Card
Here is the Title Lobby Card from the MGM release of the Italian film Two Women (1960), starring Sophia Loren. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Umberto D. (1952) - Quiet Morning In Rome Following opening credits and a dedication to his father, director Vittorio De Sica introduces his title character, a professor and non-actor, Carlo Battisti, in post-war Rome, in Umberto D., 1952.
Umberto D. (1952) - Sentimental To Me Having sneaked away from his bed where he's feigning illness, Carlo Battisti (title character) sells his prized books, then enlists Maria (Maria Pia Casillo) to urge the landlady (Lina Gennari) to accept partial payment, in Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D., 1952.
Bicycle Thieves (1948) -- This Isn't A Pizzeria Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) decides he and Bruno (Enzo Staiola) deserve a break, expressing confidence he'll get his bike and his job back, in Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves, 1948.
Bicycle Thieves (1948) -- Open, Ricci Opening sequence and news of a job for Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani), from Vittorio De Sica's neo-realist landmark, cast entirely with non-professional actors, Bicycle Thieves, 1948, from a novel by Luigi Bartolini.
Bicycle Thieves (1948) -- Three Doubles Three Singles Maria (Lianella Carell) figures out how to get the bicycle out of hock, rescuing Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) from his misery, in Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves, 1948.
Bicycle Thieves (1948) - You Look Like A Cop! Young Bruno (Enzo Staiola), Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) and Maria (Lianella Carell) prepare for the first day on the new job, in Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves, 1948.
Bicycle Thieves (1948) -- A Boy Is Drowning! Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) takes out his frustration on Bruno (Enzo Staiola) as they chase the old man who knows the thief, in Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves, 1948.
Two Women (1960) - Those Men Will Come Back Now on foot on their trek from wartime Rome to her rural home province, mother Cesira (Sophia Loren) and daughter Rosetta (Eleanora Brown) are also fleeing local fascist militia brigands, meeting a passerby as Allied aircraft roar overhead, in Vittorio De Sica’s drama of the “Marocchinate” war crime campaign, Two Women, 1960.
Two Women (1960) - Those Germans Aren't So Bad Fleeing Allied bombs in Rome, Cesira (Sophia Loren) and daughter Rosetta (Eleanora Brown), decide to walk when the train can't go on, amusing German soldiers, in Vittorio De Sica's drama of the war crime campaign known as the “Marocchinate,” Two Women, 1960.
Two Women (1960) - To A New World Cesira (Sophia Loren), Rosetta (Eleanora Brown) and their Marxist friend Michele (Jean-Paul Belmondo), are the only villagers willing to feed two English soldiers, in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women, 1960.
Farewell To Arms, A (1957) - We Tell A Story Grandeur and literary credentials, Charles Vidor directs and Rock Hudson narrates, roughly from the Hemingway novel, opening producer David O. Selznick’s 1957 production, co-starring Selznick’s wife, Jennifer Jones, Kurt Kasznar, Franco Interlenghi and Leopold Trieste introduced, in A Farewell To Arms.
Farewell To Arms, A (1957) - We Die Anyway Vittorio De Sica as the almost-smarmy Rinaldi conducts his American ambulance driver friend Frederic (Rock Hudson), back at the base in the Italian Alps after leave, to meet the new English nurses, especially Miss Barkley (Jennifer Jones), in David O. Selznick’s production, from Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms, 1957.

Trailer

Promo

Family

Manuel De Sica
Son
Composer, director.
Christian De Sica
Son
Actor, singer.

Companions

Giuditta Rissone
Wife
Actor. Divorced in 1968 by law when De Sica immigrated to France.
Maria Mercader
Wife
Actor. Married in 1968; divorced in 1974.

Bibliography

Notes

"Do you know how was born the neo-realist style? After the war we have no studio, no negative, nothing. And a newspaperman ask me: 'What picture do you want to make?' And I say: 'I don't know. Maybe the boys.' Because I watch the boys on the street, the shoeshine boys. And they steal some money for a horse. And I look in Rome and find someone to give me money to make this picture."And I look at a man, a colleague of mine, Roberto Rossellini. And I sit on the steps and I ask Roberto: 'What you do there?' And he says: 'A lady will maybe give me some money to make a picture about a priest in Rome during the liberation. And you, Vittorio?' And I say: 'I don't know, maybe about shoeshine.' He says: 'Ah, good luck.'" --Vittorio De Sica in a 1972 interview with Jerry Tallmer quoted in New York Post. October 3, 1991.