Biography of Vittorio de Sica (1901-1974)

Director and actor of Italian cinema, born on July 7, 1901 in Sora and died in Neuilly (France) on November 13, 1974.


His childhood years elapse between Naples and Rome, city that will come when hardly he/she has ten years. After conducting studies of accounting, the young Vittorio will start his career as an actor in the world of film thanks to a friend of adolescence that will convince you about the possibilities of win some money in a rising industry. Thus, in 1918 he/she debut in the process Clemenceau, starring eximia Italian diva Francesca Bertini, a tragic historical melodrama of sumptuous decorations and magna production, and shortly afterwards would jump to the theatre in the company of Tatiana Pavlova. This interpretative activity already will never leave it throughout his life, becoming involved in more than one hundred and fifty films and a not very less number of theatrical works, up to the end of becoming one of the leading representatives of a specific style of understanding sophisticated Italian comedy, a picaresque point and critical of society.

Following his success on stage and in film as a comic actor and performer magazine, the arrival of the sound will strengthen further if it should be his magnificent professional position. To the extent that at the end of the 30's will have the possibility of directing films with the romantic melodrama roses Scarlet (1939). But it will be with the children look at us (1943) when achieved his first success in this field and start its close collaborations with screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, together which would develop all the foundations of the neo-realist cinema.

His following films, the shoe-shine (1946) and bicycle (1948) thief, would end up catapulting this tandem to maximum popular recognition. The first, a bleak story about two kids shoe shine with certain poetic tone, will serve to free him completely of any theatrical aftertaste that could maintain, using non-professional actors so that they act with total naturalness before the cameras. With regard to bicycle thief, one of the peaks of Neorealist cinema works, will have notorious problems to find financing both in Italy and in France or England, since producers expressed their alarm over the apparent simplicity of the theme chosen - the personal drama of someone to steal their only means of subsistence: a bicycle-, as well as by the persistence of Vittorio De Sica to remain faithful to the idea that the film should be starring by non-professional actors, Lamberto Maggiorani worker or child Enzo Staiola. The poverty of the streets, the markets decrepitude and squalor to sum up the atmosphere of post-war are perfectly reflected in a risky film that, however, found its reward in the world-wide success and a Hollywood Oscar for best film in non-English speaking.

However, Vittorio De Sica just came to guess how the money came at the hands of the producers who had invested their capital in both films, and as no one seemed interested in which to continue their adventure with Zavattini had to return to the interpretive and thus get the necessary funds to produce miracle in Milan (1950), where the usual Neorealist elements fundirían with magical aspects. While Umberto D (1951), about the difficulties to survive of retirees, will be financed to change that access to star in the adaptation of the "Don Camilo" humorous novel written by Giovanni Guareschi. The intellectual and political attacks against its proposals also started to rise tone, with public accusations of treason by having airing the dirty laundry of the deep Italy even.

At that time Vittorio De Sica will begin to consider the need to make concessions and sweetening his particular vision of social reality, fact that would lead him to separate from how traumatic by the mid sixties of Cesare Zavattini. Stazione Termini (1952) opened this new stage of his career: produced by the American David o. Selznick narrated from a melodramatic asepsis relationships between an American housewife and an Italian Professor. But the climactic turning point occurred as a result of his encounter with the marriage formed by producer Carlo Ponti and actress Sophia Loren, that would make several meant films among which stood out especially two women (1960), story about the adventures of a mother and daughter during the postwar period that included hard rape sequence, or marriage (1964) Italian, acidic comedy about the alleged virtues of married life. Two women would provide you to Sofía Loren the Hollywood Oscar for best leading actress.

Since the mid of the sixty Vittorio De Sica fell however in the powerful international production networks, making movies of little interest or directly failed as seven times woman (1967) or lovers (1968). Only the garden of the Finzi-Contini (1970) seemed to give back to their ancient times of splendor, even though it was then already only interested to continue working as a comedy actor and enjoying the delights of life.


As director:

Short films:

1950: Ambienti e personaggi.

Feature films:

1940: Scarlet roses. 1941: Magdalena, zero in conduct; Born on Friday. 1942: I remember love. 1943: Children look to us. 1944: The gate of heaven. 1946: The shoe shine. 1948: Thief of bicicletas.1950: miracle in Milan. 1951: Umberto D. 1953. Termini station. 1954: The gold of Naples. 1956: The ceiling. 1960: Two women. 1961: The last judgment; The lottery (episode of Boccaccio 70; Co-Director). 1962: the hostage of Altona. 1963: The speculator; Yesterday, today and tomorrow. 1964: Marriage to the Italian. 1965: A new world. 1966: On the trail of the Fox; One afternoon as another (episode of the witches; co-director). 1967: woman seven times. 1968: Amantes.1969: Los girasoles. 1970: The lion (episode of three partners; co-head). 1971: the garden of the Finzi-Contini. 1972: And when will Andrés? 1973: Bitter wake. 1974: The trip.

As an actor:

1918: The Clemenceau process. 1926: The beauty of the world. 1928: The compagnia dei matti. 1931: La vecchia signora; The Secretariat per tutti. 1932: what scoundrels men are; Due felice Cuore. 1933: A cattivo soggetto; Il signore Desidera? 1934: The song of the Sun; Lisette. 1935: Amote only to you; Tempo massimo; Daro a milione... 1936: My cousin Lohengrin; But it's not a serious thing; The man who smiles; Non ti conosco più. 1937: Naples of yesteryear; Married to the force; Aristocratic guise. 1938: Napoleon mail; My past; Splitting; They have kidnapped a man; Le due madri. 1939: Castles in the air; At your service, Madam!; Department stores; Finische sempre cosi. 1940: Crazy of joy; Manon Lescaut; Peccatrice. 1941: The adventurer's upstairs (and screenwriter). 1942: the guardia del corpo (and screenwriter); Happy mistake (and screenwriter); I nostri sogni (and screenwriter). 1943: L'ippocampo (and screenwriter); Nessuno tona back; Non sono superstizioso, ma; Dieci minuti di vita vivere ancora. 1945: Cassion the ricchezza! (and screenwriter); Il mondo vuole Così; Go live. 1946: Roma Città libera (and screenwriter); Lo sconosciuto di San Marino. 1947: Natale Al Campo 119 (and screenwriter); Sperduti nel buio (and screenwriter). 1948: Cuore (and screenwriter). 1950: tomorrow will be late. 1951: Secret conclave; A damsel in distress. 1952: Good morning, Mr elephant (and screenwriter); It happened thus. 1953: Madame de...; Bread, love and fantasy; Villa Borghese. 1954: The marriage; Our time; Cento anni d'amore; Secrets d'alcove; Gran varietà; Modern vergine; L'Allegro squadrone; Bread, love and jealousy. 1955: The thief, his father and the taxi driver; The last five minutes; The sign of Venus; Bread, love and...; The beautiful peasant; Tales of Rome. 1956: The bigamist; Love comes in summer; Mio figlio Nerone; Big world in Monte Carlo; Goodbye, youth!; The most beautiful day. 1957: Fathers and sons; Holiday in Italy; Criminal youth; Amores in Ischia; A farewell to arms; Casino de Paris; Danae; The Max count; My wife is a doctor; Let's talk about love; Doctor and the healer. 1958: Anna of Brooklyn; Sunday is always; The plaza de San Pedro girl; Bread, love and Andalusia; The target sports; Kanonen serenade; A woman to Marcelo; The prima notte. 1959: In the sky painted blue; Holiday in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Gastone; The enemy of my wife; Il moralist; The general della Rovere; The Marquis, his niece and... the maiden; Il mondo dei miracoli; Feridnando I, re di Napoli; The three Colonel etceteras. 1960: The Millionaire; Austelitz; Hercules pills; Capri; The Mayor, the guard and... jirafista; My loves Rome; An amore to Rome; Bella sposa; Live Henry IV, vive L'Amour. 1961: Le meraviglie di Aladino; Gli incensurati; L'onorata società; Gli attendenti; La Fayette; I due marescialli. 1963: La bonne soupe. 1965: Yo, yo, yo... and others; Moll Flanders. 1967: Un italiano in America; Caroline sherie. 1968: Raquel and their rogues; Fisherman sandals. 1969: If today is Tuesday, this is Belgium; Which of the 13? 1970: Ettore as fair; Sicilian transplant. 1971: Io non vedo, your non parli, lui non sente; L'odeur des fauvres. 1972: Siamo tutti in liberta provvisoria; Trastevere. 1973: The Matteoti case; Storia de Fratelli e de Coltelli.


LANDLORD, Juan Carlos et to the. Dictionary of Directors. (Madrid: Ediciones JC, 1992).

PASSEK, Jean-Luc et to the. Dictionary of cinema. (Paris: Librairie Larousse, 1986 [Spanish version of URABAYEN CASCANTE, Miguel.) ([Madrid: Rialp, 1991]).