Blasetti, Alessandro, 1900- -- Drama, Child actors -- Drama, Cinecitta, s.p.a. -- Drama, Mothers and daughters -- Drama


(The Most Beautiful)

Imported 35mm Print


Anna Magnani, Walter Chiari, Tina Apicella, Alessandro Blasetti,

“What is acting after all?” Maddalena (Anna Magnani) rhetorically asks before the mirror in Visconti’s melodrama of mother love and misplaced ambition. Magnani’s extraordinary performance is its own answer. As a working-class mother desperate to get her young daughter a shot at stardom through a Cinecittà casting call, Magnani turns what might have been a simplistic caricature of a domineering stage mamma into a fully rendered character, both hilarious and tragically human. Visconti’s direction similarly refuses to distinguish between satire and sincerity; even while it mocks the business of moviemaking, Bellissima is an exquisite example of the filmmaker’s craft.

Juliet Clark
  • Suso Cecchi D'Amico
  • Francesco Rosi
  • Luchino Visconti
Based On
  • a story by Cesare Zavattini

  • Piero Portalupi
  • Paul Ronald
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 114 mins
  • Cinecittà
  • Movietime

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Bellissima (program note), Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, 2006

Bellissima (program note), San Francisco International Film Festival, 1995

Luchino Visconti: maestro of the movies (program note), Brooklyn Museum, 1992

Bellissima (distributor materials), Cinema Guild, 1985

Bellissima (review), Village Voice, Andrew Sarris, 1981

Bellissima (booklet), Kleine Filmkunstreihe, Die, 1960

Bellissima (review), Variety, Robert F. Hawkins, 1952

Bellissima (press kit)

Luchino Visconti: the films (1936-76) (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Bellissima (synopsis)

Displaying 10 of 15 publicly available documents.

View all Bellissima documentation on CineFiles.