Sophia Loren earned the distinction of being the first actor in a foreign film to win an Oscar. In a heart-rending performance, she plays an Italian widow who, together with her thirteen-year-old daughter, flees south after the Allied bombing of Rome in 1943, only to encounter further dangers, deprivation, and ultimately rape by soldiers. Based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, the screenplay was written by Cesare Zavattini, who had previously collabor-ated with De Sica on the neorealist classics Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D, and Miracle in Milan. Writing about De Sica’s films—"the greatest love message our period has had the good fortune to hear since Chaplin"—critic André Bazin clarified their artistry: "I have used the word love. I should rather have said poetry."
Two Men and a Wardrobe (Dwaj Ludzie Z Szaza)Directed by Roman Polanski.
Poland, 1957, 16mm, black & white, 15 min.
Print source: HFA
Polanski’s celebrated student film presents a parable about two men who emerge from the sea lugging a large wardrobe and encounter an inhospitable world at every turn.