VITTORIO DE SICA - A film series
"La Ciociara" (Two Women, 1960 ) 11:30am
"L’oro di Napoli" (The Gold of Naples, 1954) 2:00pm
"Matrimonio all'italiana" (Marriage Italian Style, 1964)  5:00 pm
"Il giardino dei Finzi Contini" (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, 1970) 7:30pm
VITTORIO DE SICA - A film series
VITTORIO DE SICA - A film series

Presented by Luce Cinecittà, in collaboration with The Italian Cultural Institute and the Consul General of Italy in San Francisco.

On September 26, 2015, four of the most successful and loved works by the master of Italian Neorealism will screen at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre. Vittorio De Sica – A Film Series will engage the audience in a one-day pursuit of a cinematic personality that has many facets and won 4 Academy Awards.

This series is co-presented by Istituto Luce Cinecittà and The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, with the support of The Leonardo da Vinci Society. It was organized by program director Amelia Antonucci of Cinema Italia San Francisco, and Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero of Istituto Luce Cinecittà, in association with the Ministry of Culture, Italy, andunder the auspices of The Consul General of Italy in San Francisco.

Tickets are $12 per screening. Tickets for the party are $20. A pass to see all four films and attend the party is $60. Click here to purchase tickets.


11:30 am La ciociara (Two Women)

(Drama, War/1960/121 min.)

2:00 pm L’Oro di Napoli (The Gold of Naples)

(Comedy / 1954 / 118 mins.)

5:00 pm Matrimonio all’Italiana (Marriage Italian-Style )

(Comedy, Drama / 1964 / 102mins.)

7:30 pm Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini (The Garden of the Finzi Continis)

(Drama / 1970 / 95 mins.)

9:30 pm Party in the Castro Mezzanine

On September 26, 2015, following our 7:30PM special West Coast Premiere of the new restoration of the Academy Award-winning "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis", head upstairs to the Castro Theatre's mezzanine for a great time at our "In The Secret Garden" Party at 9:30PM.

The party will feature food, wine and entertainment from select regions of Italy featured in the four films of Vittorio De Sica - A Film Series.

Discover Naples: The classic "osteria" with vino, pizzette (bite-sized pizzas) and cartocci (fried delicacies in paper cones). As well, we will feature scrumptious selections of food and wine from Rome and, of course, Ferrara.

Come meet Mr. Lino Capolicchio, the star of "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis", and mix and mingle with fellow lovers of Italian movies and all things Italian.

Purchase your tickets today and we will see you there!

All films presented with English subtitles

About Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica (7 July 1901 – 13 November 1974) was an Italian director and actor, a leading figure in the neorealist movement.

Four of the films he directed won Academy Awards: Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves were awarded honorary Oscars, while both Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Indeed, the great critical success of Shoeshine, (the first foreign film to be so recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and Bicycle Thieves helped establish the permanent Best Foreign Film Oscar. These two films generally are considered part of the canon of classic cinema.

De Sica was also nominated for the 1957 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing Major Rinaldi in American director Charles Vidor's 1957 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, a movie that was panned by critics and proved a box office flop. De Sica's acting was considered the highlight of the film.

Born into poverty in Sora, Lazio (1901), he began his career as a theatre actor in the early 1920s and joined Tatiana Pavlova's theatre company in 1923. In 1933 he founded his own company with his wife Giuditta Rissone and Sergio Tofano. The company performed mostly light comedies, but they also staged plays by Beaumarchais and worked with famous directors like Luchino Visconti. His meeting with Cesare Zavattini was a very important event: together they created some of the most celebrated films of the neorealistic age, like Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves (released as The Bicycle Thief in America).

De Sica appeared in the British television series The Four Just Men (1959). His passion for gambling was well known. Because of it, he often lost large sums of money and accepted work that might not otherwise have interested him. He never kept his gambling a secret from anyone; in fact, he projected it on characters in his own movies, like Count Max (which he acted in but did not direct) and The Gold of Naples.

In 1937 he married Giuditta Rissone, whom he met ten years before and who gave birth to their daughter, Emi. In 1942, on the set of Un garibaldino al convento, he met Spanish actress Maria Mercader (sister of Ramon Mercader, Trotsky's assassin), with whom he started a relationship. After divorcing Rissone in France in 1954, he married Mercader in 1959, in Mexico, but this union was not considered valid under Italian law. In 1968 he obtained French citizenship and married Mercader in Paris. Meanwhile he had already had two sons with her: Manuel, in 1949, who became a musician, and Christian, in 1951, who would follow his father's path as an actor and director. Although divorced, De Sica never parted from his first family. He led a double family life, with double celebrations on holidays. It is said that, at Christmas and on New Year's Eve, he used to put back the clocks by two hours in Mercader's house so that he could make a toast at midnight with both families. His first wife agreed to keep up the facade of a marriage so as not to leave her daughter without a father.

Vittorio De Sica died at 73 after a surgery at the Neuilly-sur-Seine hospital in Paris.

"La Ciociara" (Two Women, 1960 ) 11:30am
"La Ciociara" (Two Women, 1960 ) 11:30am

(Drama/War - 1960 - 121 mins.)

Director: Vittorio De Sica Screenplay: Cesare Zavattini Cinematographer: Gábor Pogány Starring: Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Raf Vallone


Not to be missed: a recent restoration of the acclaimed classic that won Sophia Loren the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Actress – the first time any non-English speaking role had garnered that prize. ("Before I made Two Women, I had been a performer," Loren said. "Afterward, I was an actress.") In De Sica's stunning adaptation of the Alberto Moravia novel, Loren plays Cesira (a role that was reportedly first offered to Anna Magnani, who turned it down), a shopkeeper who flees from Rome, along with her adolescent daughter Rosetta (Eleanora Brown), to escape the Allied bombardment during the last days of World War II. In the mountains of her native Ciociara, the hard-nosed widow finds refuge with her people and strikes up a flirtation with an idealistic young intellectual (Jean-Paul Belmondo); however, she soon discovers that even her financial cunning offers no protection from the ravages of war.

"A powerful experience to behold, and one of De Sica's finest films." (Film Threat).

Restored by Fondazione Scuola Nazionale di Cinema and Mediaset. Print courtesy of Istituto Luce Cinecittà.

"L’oro di Napoli" (The Gold of Naples, 1954) 2:00pm
"L’oro di Napoli" (The Gold of Naples, 1954) 2:00pm

(Comedy - 1954 – 138 mins.)

Director: Vittorio De Sica Screenplay: Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio De Sica, Giuseppe Marotta Cinematographer: Carlo Montuori Starring: Silvana Mangano, Sophia Loren, Eduardo De Filippo, Paolo Stoppa, Totò

A personal tribute to Naples, where director De Sica spent his first years, L’Oro di Napoli, based on the book by the same title, by Giuseppe Marotta, is a collection of six Neapolitan episodes: a clown exploited by a hoodlum; an unfaithful pizza seller (Loren) losing her husband's ring; the funeral of a child; the impoverished inveterate gambler Count Prospero B. being reduced to force his concierge's preteen kid to play cards with him; the unexpected and unusual wedding of Teresa, a prostitute; and the exploits of "professor" Ersilio Micci, a "wisdom seller" who "solves problems.”

This is the West Coast Theatrical Premiere of the complete uncut version. Origianlly released in this country with only four of the stories-and rarely seen in any form-this is the complete, uncut version. The archival print is courtesy of istituto Luce Cinecittà. A Rialto Pictures release.

"Matrimonio all'italiana" (Marriage Italian Style, 1964)  5:00 pm
"Matrimonio all'italiana" (Marriage Italian Style, 1964) 5:00 pm

(Comedy/Drama - 1964 – 102 mins.)

Director: Vittorio De Sica Screenplay: Eduardo de Filippo, Renato Castellani, Antonio Guerra, Leo Benvenuto and Piero de Bernardi.  Cinematographer: Carlo Montuori 

Starring: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Aldo Puglisi


In Marriage Italian Style (1964) De Sica returns behind the camera with a comedy with a tragic flair: a delightful adaptation of Eduardo De Filippo's play “Filumena Marturano,” in which a man leaves his fiancée to go to the deathbed of his mistress. Moved by her condition, he swears to marry her if she recovers. 

NY Times critic Bosley Crowter at the presentation of Marriage Italian Style in New York in 1964 said, “Whenever Vittorio de Sica gets together with Sophia Loren to make a motion picture, something wonderful happens. It did when he directed her in Gold of NaplesTwo WomenYesterday, Today and Tomorrow,  and now Marriage Italian Style. The something wonderful that's happened is the conception and projection of a film so frank and free and understanding of a certain kind of vital woman—and man, too—that it sends you forth from the theater feeling you've known her — and him — all your life.”

The 4K restoration is by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Surf Film, Fondation Technicolor pour le Patrimoine du Cinéma (Severine Wemaere) with the collaboration of Memory Cinéma (Gilles Duval). The restoration was carried out at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in 2014.

"Il giardino dei Finzi Contini" (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, 1970) 7:30pm
"Il giardino dei Finzi Contini" (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, 1970) 7:30pm

(Drama - 1970 – 95 mins.) 

Director: Vittorio De Sica Screenplay: Vittorio Bonicelli, Ugo Pirro Cinematographer: Ennio Guarnieri Starring: Dominique Sanda, Lino Capolicchio, Helmut Berger

Lino Capolicchio in person

A late-career triumph for De Sica, this adaptation of Giorgio Bassani’s famous novel won the director his final Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Garden is set in Ferrara during World War II, where the wealthy Jewish family of the Finzi-Continis finds refuge from the horror that is engulfing Europe in their sequestered, aristocratic lifestyle. But as Mussolini’s rapprochement with Hitler takes hold and the Fascists begin to purge and persecute local Jews, the family’s sheltered world begins to collapse. De Sica’s flashbacks evoke the working of memory, and a powerful sense of loss: of a world, a people, a culture. The lovely Dominique Sanda brings melancholy glamour to her role as the family’s daughter Micol. 

A beautiful surprise ... extraordinary.” – Pauline Kael 

Digital restoration by Antony Morato, in collaboration with Istituto Luce Cinecitta and L’Uomo Vogue. Digital presentation courtesy of Istituto Luce Cinecitta. 


On September 24, 2016, 28 years after the first major U.S. retrospective of her films at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, and 14 years after MoMa’s Billy Rose Tribute, Luce Cinecittà, The Italian Cultural Institute and Cinema Italia San Francisco are proud to announce Anna Magnani – A Film Series, the presentation of four of the most acclaimed movies of Nannarella at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, on September 24, 2016. 

The day begins with the new restoration of Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist war drama Open City. This is followed by Luchino Visconti’s satirical spin on the movie industry – Bellissima. The evening’s Spotlight Film is Daniel Mann’s The Rose Tattoo, the celebrated adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play that garnered three Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Magnani, who also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for this memorable English-language role. A vivacious Roman- and Louisiana-styled party will follow the screening. The series will conclude with a glorious new restoration of Mario Monicelli’s The Passionate Thief, a comedic adaptation of two novels by Alberto Moravia, starring Magnani and Totò.

This series is co-presented by Istituto Luce Cinecittà and The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, with the support of The Leonardo da Vinci Society. It was organized by program director Amelia Antonucci of Cinema Italia San Francisco, and Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero of Istituto Luce Cinecittà, in association with the Ministry of Culture, Italy, andunder the auspices of The Consul General of Italy in San Francisco.

Tickets are $12 per screening. Tickets for the party are $20. A pass to see all four films and attend the party is $60. Ticket sales will begin soon. 


• 1:00 PM: Rome Open City (100 mins. – 1945) 
• 3:00 PM: Bellissima (115 mins. – 1952) 
• 6:00 PM: The Rose Tattoo (117 mins. – 1955) 
• 8:00 PM: Party in the Castro Theatre’s mezzanine
• 10:00 PM: The Passionate Thief (106 mins. – 1960)

All films will be presented with English subtitles.

More details on the party to come.


The movies in which Anna Magnani acted, even if directed by famous directors as Rossellini, Pasolini, Fellini and Visconti, often are remembered as “Magnani’s movies” and have inspired generations of filmmaker around the world. Jean Renoir says of her: “She is the greatest actress that I worked with: She is entirely ‘animal’… An animal created for stage and screen.” Roberto Rossellini called her “the greatest acting genius since Eleonora Duse”. Tennessee Williams became an admirer and wrote The Rose Tattoo specifically for her to star in, a role for which she received an Oscar in 1955.

Born in 1908 in Rome, Anna Magnani was raised by her grandmother in modest conditions. She studied for two years at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Rome and began her career in a traveling Italian Theatre troupe. While gaining fame as a stage actress, she was discovered by her future husband and film director Goffredo Alessandrini who cast her in two of his films. When her marriage to Alessandrini ended in 1950, she never married again.  Magnani once said, “Women like me can only submit to men capable of dominating them, and I have never found anyone capable of dominating me.”

In 1941, Magnani appeared in her first important film, Teresa Venerdi, directed by Vittorio De Sica, but it was her 1945 role in Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City that instantly made her a star in Italy and abroad. Her performance won her Best Foreign Actress of the year by the National Board of Review and Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival.

The seven years following Rome Open City were the most prolific for Magnani’s career and she was seen as the symbol of the Italian national spirit during the postwar years. Her acting, so spontaneous and natural, and her instinctive emotional approach to the characters portrayed, made her for a few years the most popular Italian actress in Hollywood.

In 1956 she won the Academy Award as Best Actress for The Rose Tattoo, directed by Daniel Mann. It was an adaptation of a stage text especially written for her by Tennessee Williams.