Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


1h 59m 1964
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Brief Synopsis

Three tales of very different women using their sexuality as a means to getting what they want.

Film Details

Also Known As
Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, Ieri, oggi e domani
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Mar 1964
Production Company
C. C. Champion; Les Films Concordia
Distribution Company
Embassy Pictures
Country
France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 59m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

ADELINA: When the Naples police come to arrest the beautiful Adelina for selling contraband cigarettes, her unemployed husband, Carmine, discovers a legal loophole stating that no pregnant woman can be jailed until 6 months after her child is born. The plan works so well that Adelina conceives one baby after another to avoid arrest. Carmine becomes so overstrained that eventually Adelina can no longer produce a medical certificate of pregnancy, and she is sent to jail. The local citizens raise the money for her fine, however, and her sentence is commuted by the president of Italy. ANNA: Anna, the elegant wife of a prominent Milan industrialist, is having an affair with Renzo, a struggling young writer. One day she allows him to drive her expensive convertible which he wrecks in order to avoid hitting a small boy. Infuriated by the damage to her car and by Renzo's inability to handle the situation, Anna accepts a ride from an unattractive but obviously wealthy stranger. MARA: Shortly before the return of her lover Rusconi, Mara, a beautiful prostitute in Rome, discovers that a seminary student who is visiting his grandparents next door has fallen in love with her. Although attracted by the purity of the young man, Mara resists his advances. Eventually his grandmother accuses Mara of attempting to corrupt her grandson and announces that he plans to join the Foreign Legion. Mara confronts the young man, tells him the truth about herself, and persuades him to return to the seminary. In an offering to God for the soul of the young man, Mara makes a vow of chastity for one week, thereby leaving Rusconi sexually frustrated.

Film Details

Also Known As
Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, Ieri, oggi e domani
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Mar 1964
Production Company
C. C. Champion; Les Films Concordia
Distribution Company
Embassy Pictures
Country
France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 59m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Wins

Best Foreign Language Film

1963

Articles

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


Although many Italian reviewers considered the risqué comic anthology Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1963, aka Ieri, oggi, domani) beneath the talents of director Vittorio De Sica and writer Cesare Zavattini, it was a big hit with the public at home and abroad and earned an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and a Best Foreign Actor Award from the British Academy for Marcello Mastroianni. The director who created the landmark neo-realist works Shoeshine (1946), The Bicycle Thief (1948), and Umberto D. (1952) was viewed with "sorrow" by one Italian critic who noted both De Sica's "decline" and the "difficulty in trying new ways" exhibited by Zavattini, who had written those great De Sica works as well as a number of other classics. Another critic said of De Sica, "The great patriarch's sun has set and he doesn't realize it." Not everyone in Italy agreed; the picture was given the Donatello Award (the country's top film prize) as Best Production, and it was one of the biggest box office hits of the year.

Impressive behind-the-camera credits notwithstanding, the real attraction, of course, were the two leads. Sophia Loren was at the time one of the biggest global stars, with tremendous success at home, in Hollywood (where she made a dozen films between 1957 and 1960), and in big international co-productions like the costume epic El Cid (1961). She had returned to Europe in the early 60s, further cementing her stardom there in Boccaccio '70 (1962), another sexy anthology that featured a number of well-known European actors and direction by the likes of De Sica, Fellini, and Visconti. She also won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the young refugee mother in De Sica's Two Women (1960), based on the novel La Ciociara by the great Roman writer Alberto Moravia.

Mastroianni had also come up through the ranks of the Italian film industry, beginning as an extra in the early 1940s and eventually becoming the epitome of the jaded, smoldering leading man with a keen talent for comedy, achieving global recognition through his work with Fellini and Antonioni.

The two had not appeared together since Lucky to Be a Woman (1956), and their reunion proved to be a delight. They play lovers in three vignettes, each telling a tale set in a different city. In the Naples-based "Adelina" segment, she is a black-market cigarette dealer and he is her unemployed husband, compelled to keep her pregnant to take advantage of an Italian law preventing the imprisonment of expectant mothers. In "Anna," Loren is a wealthy, bored Milanese woman who picks up and discards writer Mastroianni as her temporary lover. And in "Mara," she plays a Roman prostitute who, upon falling for a chaste young seminarian, takes a vow of abstinence, driving her most frequent client (Mastroianni) to utter distraction.

Although there is no evidence of her sorrow on screen, Loren was upset over one of several failed attempts to have a baby with Carlo Ponti, her husband and the film's producer. During production of the "Adelina" segment, she realized she was pregnant. Because of numerous earlier difficulties, her doctor ordered several days of bed rest and banned all automobile travel. To accommodate this, she traveled by train from Naples to Milan. The episode shot in that city, however, took place largely in a car, a luxurious Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (the actress was allowed to keep it after shooting ended). The scenes were shot in a studio with rear projection, but the car was mounted on a hydraulic lift to simulate the bumps and jolts of driving, and Loren suffered a miscarriage in the fourth month of her pregnancy. Loren and Ponti would have to wait another five years before the birth of their first child.

The "Mara" segment (the first filmed, based on a story by Moravia) contains a scene that has become iconic for both stars: a torrid striptease Loren does for Mastroianni, so sexy and provocative that he howls like a wild animal. The international sex symbol had never actually seen a stripper perform before and was nervous about doing the bit. De Sica arranged for Jacques Ruet, the choreographer for the legendary Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris, to fly to Rome and instruct Loren. "I had three or four sessions with him to learn the basic moves, struts, and teases," she recalled. "But then, using those routines, I had to mold them, with De Sica's help, into my own personal interpretation." Clad only in two layers of sexy black lingerie, she insisted the set be cleared the day of the shoot. Nervous as she was, she performed the routine to everyone's great satisfaction, even hers. "No scene ever gave me more pleasure," she said. So fixed was the moment in the minds of audiences, and so sexy and appealing were the stars even more than 30 years later, that Robert Altman had them spoof the scene in his multi-character satire on the fashion industry, Prêt-à-Porter (1994).

Just as the production was about to move to Naples, the real-life counterpart of "Adelina" threatened to shut down production unless she received compensation. Concetta Musscardo, aka "Black Market Connie," was such a local legend for her tendency to get pregnant every time she got in trouble with the law that the filmmakers thought it would be no problem to fictionally recreate such a public figure. Because she reportedly had friends in the feared Neapolitan crime syndicate, the Camorra, Ponti agreed to pay her two million lire (then about $3,200) for her story.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Producer: Carlo Ponti
Screenplay: Eduardo De Filippo, Isabella Quarantotti, Cesare Zavattini, Bella Billa, Lorenza Zanuso
Cinematography: Giuseppe Rotunno
Editing: Adriana Novelli
Production Design: Ezio Frigerio
Original Music: Armando Trovajoli
Cast: Sophia Loren (Adelina/Anna/Mara), Marcello Mastroianni (Carmine/Renzo/Augusto), Aldo Giuffrè (Pasquale), Agostino Slavietti (Dr. Verace), Lino Mattera (Amedeo).
C-119m.

by Rob Nixon
Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Although many Italian reviewers considered the risqué comic anthology Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1963, aka Ieri, oggi, domani) beneath the talents of director Vittorio De Sica and writer Cesare Zavattini, it was a big hit with the public at home and abroad and earned an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and a Best Foreign Actor Award from the British Academy for Marcello Mastroianni. The director who created the landmark neo-realist works Shoeshine (1946), The Bicycle Thief (1948), and Umberto D. (1952) was viewed with "sorrow" by one Italian critic who noted both De Sica's "decline" and the "difficulty in trying new ways" exhibited by Zavattini, who had written those great De Sica works as well as a number of other classics. Another critic said of De Sica, "The great patriarch's sun has set and he doesn't realize it." Not everyone in Italy agreed; the picture was given the Donatello Award (the country's top film prize) as Best Production, and it was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. Impressive behind-the-camera credits notwithstanding, the real attraction, of course, were the two leads. Sophia Loren was at the time one of the biggest global stars, with tremendous success at home, in Hollywood (where she made a dozen films between 1957 and 1960), and in big international co-productions like the costume epic El Cid (1961). She had returned to Europe in the early 60s, further cementing her stardom there in Boccaccio '70 (1962), another sexy anthology that featured a number of well-known European actors and direction by the likes of De Sica, Fellini, and Visconti. She also won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the young refugee mother in De Sica's Two Women (1960), based on the novel La Ciociara by the great Roman writer Alberto Moravia. Mastroianni had also come up through the ranks of the Italian film industry, beginning as an extra in the early 1940s and eventually becoming the epitome of the jaded, smoldering leading man with a keen talent for comedy, achieving global recognition through his work with Fellini and Antonioni. The two had not appeared together since Lucky to Be a Woman (1956), and their reunion proved to be a delight. They play lovers in three vignettes, each telling a tale set in a different city. In the Naples-based "Adelina" segment, she is a black-market cigarette dealer and he is her unemployed husband, compelled to keep her pregnant to take advantage of an Italian law preventing the imprisonment of expectant mothers. In "Anna," Loren is a wealthy, bored Milanese woman who picks up and discards writer Mastroianni as her temporary lover. And in "Mara," she plays a Roman prostitute who, upon falling for a chaste young seminarian, takes a vow of abstinence, driving her most frequent client (Mastroianni) to utter distraction. Although there is no evidence of her sorrow on screen, Loren was upset over one of several failed attempts to have a baby with Carlo Ponti, her husband and the film's producer. During production of the "Adelina" segment, she realized she was pregnant. Because of numerous earlier difficulties, her doctor ordered several days of bed rest and banned all automobile travel. To accommodate this, she traveled by train from Naples to Milan. The episode shot in that city, however, took place largely in a car, a luxurious Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (the actress was allowed to keep it after shooting ended). The scenes were shot in a studio with rear projection, but the car was mounted on a hydraulic lift to simulate the bumps and jolts of driving, and Loren suffered a miscarriage in the fourth month of her pregnancy. Loren and Ponti would have to wait another five years before the birth of their first child. The "Mara" segment (the first filmed, based on a story by Moravia) contains a scene that has become iconic for both stars: a torrid striptease Loren does for Mastroianni, so sexy and provocative that he howls like a wild animal. The international sex symbol had never actually seen a stripper perform before and was nervous about doing the bit. De Sica arranged for Jacques Ruet, the choreographer for the legendary Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris, to fly to Rome and instruct Loren. "I had three or four sessions with him to learn the basic moves, struts, and teases," she recalled. "But then, using those routines, I had to mold them, with De Sica's help, into my own personal interpretation." Clad only in two layers of sexy black lingerie, she insisted the set be cleared the day of the shoot. Nervous as she was, she performed the routine to everyone's great satisfaction, even hers. "No scene ever gave me more pleasure," she said. So fixed was the moment in the minds of audiences, and so sexy and appealing were the stars even more than 30 years later, that Robert Altman had them spoof the scene in his multi-character satire on the fashion industry, Prêt-à-Porter (1994). Just as the production was about to move to Naples, the real-life counterpart of "Adelina" threatened to shut down production unless she received compensation. Concetta Musscardo, aka "Black Market Connie," was such a local legend for her tendency to get pregnant every time she got in trouble with the law that the filmmakers thought it would be no problem to fictionally recreate such a public figure. Because she reportedly had friends in the feared Neapolitan crime syndicate, the Camorra, Ponti agreed to pay her two million lire (then about $3,200) for her story. Director: Vittorio De Sica Producer: Carlo Ponti Screenplay: Eduardo De Filippo, Isabella Quarantotti, Cesare Zavattini, Bella Billa, Lorenza Zanuso Cinematography: Giuseppe Rotunno Editing: Adriana Novelli Production Design: Ezio Frigerio Original Music: Armando Trovajoli Cast: Sophia Loren (Adelina/Anna/Mara), Marcello Mastroianni (Carmine/Renzo/Augusto), Aldo Giuffrè (Pasquale), Agostino Slavietti (Dr. Verace), Lino Mattera (Amedeo). C-119m. by Rob Nixon

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow on DVD


Although directed by Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief, Umberto D.), the 1964 Italian comedy Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is much more of an actors' showcase than a director's showcase. With Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni at the height of their international fame, the movie's three separate stories let the stars show their range and chemistry to, depending on the story, great or middling effect. The movie surely didn't deserve to best Woman in the Dunes for a Best Foreign Film Academy Award, but it's a genuinely amusing trip back to the long-gone days when an Italian movie with homegrown star power could have mainstream appeal for the whole world. It's also one of Loren's best vehicles. If you're an American under 50, you probably grew up thinking Sophia Loren was one of those people who was merely famous for being famous; but Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, in which each story is named for the character she plays in it, shows the charisma she had in her prime.

De Sica had long left neo-realism behind, and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is among the many glossier movies he made during the 1960s as a director (he also made dozens as an actor, his first vocation). Still, it's the anti-authoritarian grit of the first story, Adelina, that easily makes it the best of the three here. Set in 1954, it casts Loren and Mastroianni as a down-and-out Naples couple scraping to get by. He hasn't been able to find work in years, while she sells contraband cigarettes to support them. The movie opens with a funny sequence in which workmen arrive to repossess the couple's furniture, only to find their apartment empty. As soon as the furniture truck leaves, though, the couple's neighbors emerge in celebration, with pieces of hidden furniture to put back in place.

Preventing the furniture from being repossessed makes the couple's debt a legal matter, but they soon discover a loophole, thanks to a neighborhood lawyer. Since Adelina is pregnant, she can't be sent to jail until after she gives birth and after a six-month nursing period. This, of course, gives her and husband Carmelo plenty of time to get her pregnant again. And again. As the story progresses over several years, the kids pile up and Carmelo gets worn out. You'd think Adelina would be the one to tucker out, but she is a bundle of strutting determination and, as he does throughout Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Mastroianni is humble enough to let Loren play the active character and poke fun at his virile image.

The earthiness of Adelina gives way to the high gloss of the Milan-set Anna, the shortest of the trio. Here, Loren plays the rich, bored wife of a VIP, who arranges a rendezvous with Mastroianni's Renzo on the night after she met him at a party. Her husband is out of town and she's looking for some excitement, and the two ride around in Anna's Rolls Royce. But Anna's emotional interest in Renzo, or anyone else besides herself, is fleeting at best, as the story shows. This mid-section is slight, but clearly designed to be the least substantial of the three stories, a 20-minute tale sandwiched between two 50-minute segments.

The closer, Mara, gives the movie its signature image: Loren's Rome prostitute doing a semi-striptease while Mastroianni's eager client utters wolf howls worthy of a Tex Avery character (the pair recreated the scene in Robert Altman's abysmal Ready to Wear a decade back). But, fittingly for this story, it's an iconic image because of its stars, not because of characters or plot. Mara is actually an overextended tale about a seminary student (Giovanni Ridolfi) becoming smitten with the title character, who must then go to great lengths to convince him that she is indeed a lowly call girl and not the angel he imagines. While the running gag of having the client's sessions with Mara interrupted works well, with the mounting sexual frustration earning Mastroianni laughs, the student is such a bland, pasty nothing that it's hard to care about the perfunctory plot here. Then again, let's not underestimate the fact that Loren has never looked better than during the semi-striptease.

But what about the movie's title? Although the first story is set in the past and the middle in the present (of 1963), there's nothing to make you think the last is set in the future. So, despite the time frame of the first two stories, apparently the title was just a three-part name that sounded good, not a description of the movie's various settings. Although the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow disc includes minimal extras (U.S. trailer, gallery), the DVD from newbie NoShame Films, which has a full slate of Italian imports on the way, includes a very sharp widescreen transfer (subtitled, not dubbed, of course). There's also a gorgeous booklet compiling a reprint of the movie's lavish Japanese press book, brief bios of its two stars and thumbnails of French lobby cards.

For more information about Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, visit NoShame Films. To order Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, go to TCM Shopping.

by Paul Sherman

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow on DVD

Although directed by Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief, Umberto D.), the 1964 Italian comedy Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is much more of an actors' showcase than a director's showcase. With Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni at the height of their international fame, the movie's three separate stories let the stars show their range and chemistry to, depending on the story, great or middling effect. The movie surely didn't deserve to best Woman in the Dunes for a Best Foreign Film Academy Award, but it's a genuinely amusing trip back to the long-gone days when an Italian movie with homegrown star power could have mainstream appeal for the whole world. It's also one of Loren's best vehicles. If you're an American under 50, you probably grew up thinking Sophia Loren was one of those people who was merely famous for being famous; but Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, in which each story is named for the character she plays in it, shows the charisma she had in her prime. De Sica had long left neo-realism behind, and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is among the many glossier movies he made during the 1960s as a director (he also made dozens as an actor, his first vocation). Still, it's the anti-authoritarian grit of the first story, Adelina, that easily makes it the best of the three here. Set in 1954, it casts Loren and Mastroianni as a down-and-out Naples couple scraping to get by. He hasn't been able to find work in years, while she sells contraband cigarettes to support them. The movie opens with a funny sequence in which workmen arrive to repossess the couple's furniture, only to find their apartment empty. As soon as the furniture truck leaves, though, the couple's neighbors emerge in celebration, with pieces of hidden furniture to put back in place. Preventing the furniture from being repossessed makes the couple's debt a legal matter, but they soon discover a loophole, thanks to a neighborhood lawyer. Since Adelina is pregnant, she can't be sent to jail until after she gives birth and after a six-month nursing period. This, of course, gives her and husband Carmelo plenty of time to get her pregnant again. And again. As the story progresses over several years, the kids pile up and Carmelo gets worn out. You'd think Adelina would be the one to tucker out, but she is a bundle of strutting determination and, as he does throughout Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Mastroianni is humble enough to let Loren play the active character and poke fun at his virile image. The earthiness of Adelina gives way to the high gloss of the Milan-set Anna, the shortest of the trio. Here, Loren plays the rich, bored wife of a VIP, who arranges a rendezvous with Mastroianni's Renzo on the night after she met him at a party. Her husband is out of town and she's looking for some excitement, and the two ride around in Anna's Rolls Royce. But Anna's emotional interest in Renzo, or anyone else besides herself, is fleeting at best, as the story shows. This mid-section is slight, but clearly designed to be the least substantial of the three stories, a 20-minute tale sandwiched between two 50-minute segments. The closer, Mara, gives the movie its signature image: Loren's Rome prostitute doing a semi-striptease while Mastroianni's eager client utters wolf howls worthy of a Tex Avery character (the pair recreated the scene in Robert Altman's abysmal Ready to Wear a decade back). But, fittingly for this story, it's an iconic image because of its stars, not because of characters or plot. Mara is actually an overextended tale about a seminary student (Giovanni Ridolfi) becoming smitten with the title character, who must then go to great lengths to convince him that she is indeed a lowly call girl and not the angel he imagines. While the running gag of having the client's sessions with Mara interrupted works well, with the mounting sexual frustration earning Mastroianni laughs, the student is such a bland, pasty nothing that it's hard to care about the perfunctory plot here. Then again, let's not underestimate the fact that Loren has never looked better than during the semi-striptease. But what about the movie's title? Although the first story is set in the past and the middle in the present (of 1963), there's nothing to make you think the last is set in the future. So, despite the time frame of the first two stories, apparently the title was just a three-part name that sounded good, not a description of the movie's various settings. Although the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow disc includes minimal extras (U.S. trailer, gallery), the DVD from newbie NoShame Films, which has a full slate of Italian imports on the way, includes a very sharp widescreen transfer (subtitled, not dubbed, of course). There's also a gorgeous booklet compiling a reprint of the movie's lavish Japanese press book, brief bios of its two stars and thumbnails of French lobby cards. For more information about Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, visit NoShame Films. To order Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, go to TCM Shopping. by Paul Sherman

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Naples, Milan, and Rome. Opened in Rome in December 1963 as Ieri, oggi e domani; in Paris in May 1964 as Hier, aujourd'hui et demain.

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the Samuel Goldwyn International Award at the 1963 Golden Globes.

Released in United States 1963

Techniscope

Released in United States 1963

Voted One of the Year's Five Best Foreign Films by the 1963 National Board of Review.