Castro Theatre Sat, Sep 24, 2016 3:00 PM
Film Info
Running Time:115 min.
English subtitles
Director:Luchino Visconti
Producer:Salvo D'Angelo
Screenwriter:Suso Cecchi D'Amico
Francesco Rosi
Luchino Visconti
Cinematographer:Piero Portalupi
Paul Ronald
Editor:Mario Serandrei
Cast:Anna Magnani
Walter Chiari
Alessandro Blasetti
Tina Apicella


Bellissima centers on a working-class mother in Rome, Maddalena (Anna Magnani), who drags her young daughter (Tina Apicella) to Cinecittà to attend an audition for a new film by Alessandro Blasetti. Maddalena is a stage mother who loves movies and whose efforts to promote her daughter grow increasingly frenzied.

The film, which is a satire of the film industry, was shot at the Cinecittà studios. Alessandro Blasetti, a contemporary film director, appears as himself. Cesare Zavattini wrote the story for Bellissima, which Visconti, Suso Cecchi d’Amico (ensuring the contribution of a woman’s perspective), and Francesco Rossi turned into the best script from which Visconti ever would work. When Bette Davis saw Bellissima, she proclaimed Magnani the greatest actress she had ever seen. Unbeknown to Davis at the time, Magnani considered Davis the greatest actress she had ever seen.

Winner, Best Actress Silver Ribbon, in 1952 by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.

35 mm print courtesy of Istituto Luce Cinecittà.