7.8/10
3,714
16 user 21 critic

Beautiful (1951)

Bellissima (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | October 1953 (UK)
A woman from the low class desperately tries to get her daughter into the movies.

Director:

Luchino Visconti

Writers:

Cesare Zavattini (story), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Magnani ... Maddalena Cecconi
Walter Chiari ... Alberto Annovazzi
Tina Apicella Tina Apicella ... Maria Cecconi
Gastone Renzelli Gastone Renzelli ... Spartaco Cecconi
Tecla Scarano Tecla Scarano ... Tilde Spernanzoni
Lola Braccini Lola Braccini ... Photographer's Wife
Arturo Bragaglia Arturo Bragaglia ... Photographer
Nora Ricci ... Laundry Worker
Vittorina Benvenuti Vittorina Benvenuti
Linda Sini ... Mimmetta
Teresa Battaggi Teresa Battaggi ... Snob Mother
Gisella Monaldi Gisella Monaldi ... Door-keeper
Amalia Pellegrini Amalia Pellegrini
Luciana Ricci Luciana Ricci
Giuseppina Arena Giuseppina Arena
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Storyline

Film director Blasetti is looking for a little girl for his new movie. Along with other mothers, Maddelena takes her daugther to Cinecittà, hoping she'll be selected and become a star. She is ready to sacrifice anything for little Maria, even if her husband would prefer they save their little money for the rent, instead of paying teachers, hairdressers or bribes for her illusions. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Italy's Greatest Actress in her Prize-Winning Performance! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

October 1953 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bellísima See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Film Bellissima See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem Maria recites is "Addio a Venezia" (1849) by Arnaldo Fusinato. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Reality (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Il Valzer Dello Zigo Zago
(uncredited)
Music by Dino Olivieri
Lyrics by C. Deani
Performed by Anna Magnani
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bellissima, Visconti's last neo-realist film
11 June 2019 | by frankde-jongSee all my reviews

In "Bellissima" (1951) an overambitious mother drags her 6 year old daughter to a talent show. The theme of "Bellissima" has something in common with "Little miss sunshine" (2006, Dayton & Faris). In both cases the daughter has no chance against the barby dolls that are her opponents. In "Little miss sunshine" the initiative is however by the daughter herself (although her parents ought to do more to protect her). In "Bellissima" the initiative lays cleary by the overambitious mother.

"Bellissima" was the end of the neo realist period in the carrier of Luchino Visconti, after films such as "Ossessione" (1943) and "La terra trema" (1948). The film is situated in a workers environment but live in this environment is no longer as bad as it was in the heydays of neorealism. In fact live in the showbusiness of Cinecitta is much more ruthless.

The lead actress Anna Magnani is still a true representative of the neo realist age. Think about her role in "Roma, citta aperta" (1945, Roberto Rossellini). In "Bellissima" she is brilliant as the mother who is cheated by the Cinecitta employees but who is also cheating herself against other mothers and their "bellissima's".

The film tells a rather simple story but makes maximum use of facial expressions and close ups, especially those of Magnani herself and Tina Apicella (playing her daughter Maria). Especially towards the end of the film the close ups are tellng us more than a thousend words.


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