Too Bad She's Bad


1h 36m 1955

Brief Synopsis

A taxi driver falls in love with the young thief who helped steal his cab.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Crime
Foreign
Adaptation
Release Date
1955

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

A cab driver picks up a beautiful woman who ends up being a professional con-artist. Determined to catch her in the act, he can't seem to succeed because she always charms her way out of the police station. It turns out that her whole family are the same way, so he opts to marry her and set her straight.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Crime
Foreign
Adaptation
Release Date
1955

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Articles

Too Bad She's Bad


Released at the end of 1954 in Italy, Too Bad She's Bad (Italian title: Peccato che sia una canaglia) marked the end of Sophia Loren's days as a starlet and the beginning of her career as an international leading lady. The film, a fast-paced, chaotic comedy about a family of thieves and the innocent taxi cab driver who is continually implicated in their schemes, may not have been the most challenging of roles for Loren, but it accented her earthy beauty and flair for comedy. It is also historically significant as the film that first paired her with rising young actor Marcello Mastroianni. They would go on to become one of the most famous screen teams in cinema, co-starring in twelve more films together, a record that surpassed that of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (10 films) and Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (9 films).

In Sophia: Living and Loving - Her Own Story by A. E. Hotchner, the actress said that Too Bad She's Bad "was directed by the very talented Alessandro Blasetti, and...brought me together for the first time with the two men who would figure so importantly in my life - [Vittorio] De Sica, this time as an actor, and Mastroianni, who at that time was not a very well known screen actor. He had a good reputation as a stage actor but his films until then were not very distinguished and he had not had any significant success. And he had never performed in a film comedy before Too Bad She's Bad. The rapport among De Sica, Marcello, and me was immediate. We all three came from the Naples area - Mastroianni was born in a little town a few miles from De Sica's birthplace - and we shared a conspiratorial bond reserved for Neapolitans. We shared a sense of humor, a rhythm, a philosophy of living, a cynicism that lurked behind our lines of dialogue and interplay. Our heritage was our repertorial experience. We played scenes with a kind of flair and fire that I had never experienced before. Freer. Nearer to life - in fact, magnifying life to the point of making a comment about it."

The director, Alessandro Blasetti, had previously directed Loren in a segment of Tempi nostri (1954), a collection of sexy vignettes released in the U.S. as The Anatomy of Love, and was convinced she was ready to play the female lead in Too Bad She's Bad. For her role, Loren tinted her hair blonde and liked her new look so much that she was tempted briefly to keep her hair that way.

Loren recalled that for Too Bad She's Bad, "De Sica and I played father-daughter petty thieves, with Marcello as the decent taxi-driver outsider who catches us filching from him and others. De Sica created a style which Marcello and I picked up, and we three performed together with a subtlety and verve that set the tone for the many films we were to make together. As soon as a second script could be prepared, the three of us were reunited in The Miller's Wife [1955], followed immediately by Scandal in Sorrento [1955] with De Sica, and then Lucky to be a Woman [1956] with Marcello. Unfortunately, Lucky to Be a Woman substituted Charles Boyer for De Sica and our Neapolitan soufflé fell."

When Too Bad She's Bad was released in Italy, it was a big box office success though it fared less successfully in the U.S. where its Neapolitan humor was lost on most American moviegoers. Sophia's beauty and sex appeal, however, were hard to ignore and most critics focused on that aspect of the film. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times noted that "One striking point in its favor is the luxurious Sophia Loren, who is something to look at from any angle or any side...With her, ambulating is an art. Leaning over is an esthetic maneuver. The signorina racks up quite a score...Our advice to all non-Italian speakers who go to see this picture is: forget the subtitles. Forget the story. They're unimportant. Just watch the dame."

It would take Loren several years to overcome her sex symbol image and be taken seriously as an actress. None of her Hollywood pictures, despite top talent on both sides of the camera as in Desire Under the Elms [1958], That Kind of Woman [1959] and Heller in Pink Tights [1960] were completely successful with the exception of Houseboat [1958], a light romantic comedy with Cary Grant. It was not until Loren returned to Italy in 1960 to star in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women that her talent as a dramatic actress was realized. From past experiences, De Sica knew exactly how to draw the best performance from her and the result was a Best Actress Oscar® for Loren in that role.

It would also take Marcello Mastroianni several more years to achieve international success after the making of Too Bad She's Bad. He began to attract favorable critical acclaim for his work in Luchino Visconti's White Nights [1957] and Mario Monicelli's Big Deal on Madonna Street [1958] but his first major breakthrough role occurred in 1960 when he starred in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita. At the time of Too Bad She's Bad, however, Mastroianni was still uncertain about his future as an actor. Based on the following anecdote in Matilde Hochkofler's biography of Mastroianni, his mother obviously didn't attach any importance to his movie career at all. "I won 'Nastro d'argento' and 'Grolla d'oro' awards for this film [Too Bad She's Bad], which my mother immediately pawned at Monte di Pieta, the government pawnshop," Mastroianni recalled. "I went there too, and the broker said quite kindly: 'Look, Mr. Mastroianni (having made a number of films, I was already quite well known), there's no need to feel embarrassed - I won't name names, but you wouldn't believe who's been here.' They gave me 120,000 lire."

Director: Alessandro Blasetti
Screenplay: Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Alessandro Blasetti, Ennio Flaiano (all story and screenplay); Alberto Moravia (story "Il fanatico")
Cinematography: Aldo Giordani
Music: Alessandro Cicognini
Film Editing: Mario Serandrei
Cast: Vittorio De Sica (Vittorio Stroppiani), Sophia Loren (Lina Stroppiani), Marcello Mastroianni (Paolo), Giorgio Sanna (Peppino), Michael Simone (Toto), Margherita Bagni (Elsa), Wanda Benedetti (Valeria), Maria Britneva (English tourist).
BW-96m.

by Jeff Stafford

SOURCES:
Sophia: Living and Loving - Her Own Story by A.E. Hotchner (William Morrow & Co.)
Sophia Loren: A Biography by Warren G. Harris (Simon & Schuster)
Sophia Style by Deirdre Donahue (Barnes & Noble)
Marcello Mastroianni: The Fun of Cinema by Matilde Hochkofler (Gremese)
The New York Times
IMDB
Too Bad She's Bad

Too Bad She's Bad

Released at the end of 1954 in Italy, Too Bad She's Bad (Italian title: Peccato che sia una canaglia) marked the end of Sophia Loren's days as a starlet and the beginning of her career as an international leading lady. The film, a fast-paced, chaotic comedy about a family of thieves and the innocent taxi cab driver who is continually implicated in their schemes, may not have been the most challenging of roles for Loren, but it accented her earthy beauty and flair for comedy. It is also historically significant as the film that first paired her with rising young actor Marcello Mastroianni. They would go on to become one of the most famous screen teams in cinema, co-starring in twelve more films together, a record that surpassed that of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (10 films) and Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (9 films). In Sophia: Living and Loving - Her Own Story by A. E. Hotchner, the actress said that Too Bad She's Bad "was directed by the very talented Alessandro Blasetti, and...brought me together for the first time with the two men who would figure so importantly in my life - [Vittorio] De Sica, this time as an actor, and Mastroianni, who at that time was not a very well known screen actor. He had a good reputation as a stage actor but his films until then were not very distinguished and he had not had any significant success. And he had never performed in a film comedy before Too Bad She's Bad. The rapport among De Sica, Marcello, and me was immediate. We all three came from the Naples area - Mastroianni was born in a little town a few miles from De Sica's birthplace - and we shared a conspiratorial bond reserved for Neapolitans. We shared a sense of humor, a rhythm, a philosophy of living, a cynicism that lurked behind our lines of dialogue and interplay. Our heritage was our repertorial experience. We played scenes with a kind of flair and fire that I had never experienced before. Freer. Nearer to life - in fact, magnifying life to the point of making a comment about it." The director, Alessandro Blasetti, had previously directed Loren in a segment of Tempi nostri (1954), a collection of sexy vignettes released in the U.S. as The Anatomy of Love, and was convinced she was ready to play the female lead in Too Bad She's Bad. For her role, Loren tinted her hair blonde and liked her new look so much that she was tempted briefly to keep her hair that way. Loren recalled that for Too Bad She's Bad, "De Sica and I played father-daughter petty thieves, with Marcello as the decent taxi-driver outsider who catches us filching from him and others. De Sica created a style which Marcello and I picked up, and we three performed together with a subtlety and verve that set the tone for the many films we were to make together. As soon as a second script could be prepared, the three of us were reunited in The Miller's Wife [1955], followed immediately by Scandal in Sorrento [1955] with De Sica, and then Lucky to be a Woman [1956] with Marcello. Unfortunately, Lucky to Be a Woman substituted Charles Boyer for De Sica and our Neapolitan soufflĂ© fell." When Too Bad She's Bad was released in Italy, it was a big box office success though it fared less successfully in the U.S. where its Neapolitan humor was lost on most American moviegoers. Sophia's beauty and sex appeal, however, were hard to ignore and most critics focused on that aspect of the film. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times noted that "One striking point in its favor is the luxurious Sophia Loren, who is something to look at from any angle or any side...With her, ambulating is an art. Leaning over is an esthetic maneuver. The signorina racks up quite a score...Our advice to all non-Italian speakers who go to see this picture is: forget the subtitles. Forget the story. They're unimportant. Just watch the dame." It would take Loren several years to overcome her sex symbol image and be taken seriously as an actress. None of her Hollywood pictures, despite top talent on both sides of the camera as in Desire Under the Elms [1958], That Kind of Woman [1959] and Heller in Pink Tights [1960] were completely successful with the exception of Houseboat [1958], a light romantic comedy with Cary Grant. It was not until Loren returned to Italy in 1960 to star in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women that her talent as a dramatic actress was realized. From past experiences, De Sica knew exactly how to draw the best performance from her and the result was a Best Actress Oscar® for Loren in that role. It would also take Marcello Mastroianni several more years to achieve international success after the making of Too Bad She's Bad. He began to attract favorable critical acclaim for his work in Luchino Visconti's White Nights [1957] and Mario Monicelli's Big Deal on Madonna Street [1958] but his first major breakthrough role occurred in 1960 when he starred in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita. At the time of Too Bad She's Bad, however, Mastroianni was still uncertain about his future as an actor. Based on the following anecdote in Matilde Hochkofler's biography of Mastroianni, his mother obviously didn't attach any importance to his movie career at all. "I won 'Nastro d'argento' and 'Grolla d'oro' awards for this film [Too Bad She's Bad], which my mother immediately pawned at Monte di Pieta, the government pawnshop," Mastroianni recalled. "I went there too, and the broker said quite kindly: 'Look, Mr. Mastroianni (having made a number of films, I was already quite well known), there's no need to feel embarrassed - I won't name names, but you wouldn't believe who's been here.' They gave me 120,000 lire." Director: Alessandro Blasetti Screenplay: Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Alessandro Blasetti, Ennio Flaiano (all story and screenplay); Alberto Moravia (story "Il fanatico") Cinematography: Aldo Giordani Music: Alessandro Cicognini Film Editing: Mario Serandrei Cast: Vittorio De Sica (Vittorio Stroppiani), Sophia Loren (Lina Stroppiani), Marcello Mastroianni (Paolo), Giorgio Sanna (Peppino), Michael Simone (Toto), Margherita Bagni (Elsa), Wanda Benedetti (Valeria), Maria Britneva (English tourist). BW-96m. by Jeff Stafford SOURCES: Sophia: Living and Loving - Her Own Story by A.E. Hotchner (William Morrow & Co.) Sophia Loren: A Biography by Warren G. Harris (Simon & Schuster) Sophia Style by Deirdre Donahue (Barnes & Noble) Marcello Mastroianni: The Fun of Cinema by Matilde Hochkofler (Gremese) The New York Times IMDB

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Released in United States 1956

Released in United States 1956