Anna Magnani: Eternal Soul of Italian Cinema

September 25–December 4, 2016

A series spotlighting Italian actress Anna Magnani, who brought a unique combination of exuberance, empathy, and intelligence to all the parts she played.

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  • Teresa Venerdi

  • Many Dreams Along the Way

  • Bellissima

  • Mamma Roma

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • The Golden Coach

    • Saturday, November 5 5:30 PM
    • Sunday, December 4 4 PM
    Jean Renoir
    France, Italy, United Kingdom, 1952

    Renoir’s graceful comedy revolves around Magnani as the star of a commedia dell’arte troupe in eighteenth-century Peru. François Truffaut called it “the noblest and most refined film ever made.”

  • Mamma Roma

    • Sunday, November 13 4:30 PM
    • Saturday, December 3 8 PM
    Pier Paolo Pasolini
    Italy, 1962

    Pasolini captured Magnani “like a found object” (Village Voice) in her role as a spirited prostitute; her downtrodden exuberance embodies Rome itself.

  • Wild Is the Wind

    • Sunday, November 27 4:30 PM
    George Cukor
    United States, 1957

    Cukor, Hollywood’s finest director of actresses, takes on the great Italian film diva in this Nevada-set melodrama costarring Anthony Quinn.

  • 1870

    • Saturday, November 26 5:45 PM
    Alfredo Giannetti
    Italy, 1972

    Magnani appears opposite Marcello Mastroianni in this Risorgimento period drama. Her final starring role is a reprise of and tribute to every passionate woman of the people she ever created.

  • The Passionate Thief

    • Saturday, November 12 5:30 PM
    • Friday, November 25 8 PM
    Mario Monicelli
    Italy, 1960

    Magnani is marvelous as a hapless would-be actress in this beloved comedy, also featuring Totò and Ben Gazzara. “Like a long night of champagne without the hangover” (Time Out New York).

  • The Rose Tattoo

    • Sunday, November 20 7 PM
    Daniel Mann
    United States, 1955

    Magnani won an Oscar for her American film debut as a widow whose repressed emotions are rekindled by big-hearted lummox Burt Lancaster. Tennessee Williams created the part for Magnani.

  • The Fugitive Kind

    • Saturday, November 19 5:30 PM
    Sidney Lumet
    United States, 1960

    Magnani meets Marlon Brando (and Maureen Stapleton and Joanne Woodward) in this smoldering adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s Orpheus Descending. Followed by a Magnani-themed dinner at Babette ($40/person). 

  • . . . And the Wild Women

    • Sunday, November 6 4 PM
    Roberto Castellani
    Italy, 1959

    Imported Print 

    This women-in-prison picture features Magnani at her most pungent as a brazen jailbird who takes innocent new inmate Giulietta Masina under her wing.

  • Bellissima

    • Saturday, October 8 8:15 PM
    • Saturday, October 29 6 PM
    Luchino Visconti
    Italy, 1952

    Magnani is magnificent as a mother prepared to sacrifice everything for her little daughter’s shot at stardom in Visconti’s satire on urban life and movieland ambition.

  • Rome Open City

    • Friday, October 14 8:15 PM
    • Thursday, October 27 7 PM
    Roberto Rossellini
    Italy, 1945

    Digital Restoration

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    Magnani gives an indelible performance as the pregnant lover of a Resistance worker in this neorealist classic, as moving and agonizing today as it was in 1945.

  • Volcano

    • Sunday, October 23 4 PM
    William Dieterle
    Italy, United States, 1950

    Magnani’s retort to Roberto Rosellini’s Stromboli is a tale of cruel lives in a harsh landscape, with Magnani as a Neapolitan prostitute sent back to the volcanic island of her birth.

  • Many Dreams Along the Way

    • Saturday, October 22 6 PM
    Mario Camerini
    Italy, 1948

    Magnani is comic and affecting in this tale of a Roman housewife who thwarts her luckless husband’s efforts to make a dishonest living. Costarring Massimo Girotti (Ossessione).

  • The Bandit

    • Saturday, October 15 6 PM
    • Friday, October 21 6:30 PM
    Alberto Lattuada
    Italy, 1946

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    A former prisoner of war becomes entangled with the seductive, ruthless Magnani and her criminal gang in this drama set amid the turmoil of war-torn Italy.

  • Angelina

    • Sunday, September 25 7 PM
    • Sunday, October 16 4 PM
    Luigi Zampa
    Italy, 1947

    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    Magnani won Best Actress at Venice for her funny and formidable portrait of an accidental activist from the impoverished suburbs of Rome in this populist comedy.

  • The Peddler and the Lady

    • Sunday, October 9 4:30 PM
    Mario Bonnard
    Italy, 1943

    Magnani created the first of the raucous working-class characters that would become her trademark in this comedy starring Aldo Fabrizi (Rome Open City) as a lovestruck fishmonger.

  • Full Speed

    • Sunday, October 2 4:30 PM
    Mario Mattoli
    Italy, 1934

    Magnani has a small but spirited part as a maid in this delightful comedy of errors starring Vittorio De Sica as a repressed young professor.

  • Teresa Venerdì

    • Saturday, October 1 8:30 PM
    Vittorio De Sica
    Italy, 1941

    Magnani plays a showgirl involved with playboy pediatrician Vittorio De Sica, who is also pursued by an heiress and a comely orphan, in this “screwball romantic comedy of the first rank” (New York Times).