Was Esmeralda next to Anthony Quinn ne The hunchback of Notre DamePauline Bonaparte in Imperial Venusthe Queen of Sheba and even the Blue Fairy ne The Adventures of Pinocchio by Luigi Comencini, 1972. Talented actress and 1950s diva par excellence, Gina Lollobrigida, with her performances on the big screen, marked Italian cinema forever.
She began her career at the age of 17, in 1944, playing the role of Corinna in the comedy Santarellina by Eduardo Scarpetta. Fame then arrived in France with the film Fanfan la Tulipeby director Christian-Jaque and then in Italy with Bread, love and fantasy by Luigi Comencini and in Hollywood where, in 2018, a star was dedicated to her on the Walk of Fame. You have acted alongside Humphrey Bogart, Vittorio Gassman, Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery and Steve McQueen and collaborated with directors such as Vittorio De Sica, Mario Monicelli and Pietro Germi. You have won a Golden Globe, seven David di Donatello awards and two Silver Ribbons. Now that the diva has passed away at the age of 95, his legacy will remain mostly in his films. Here are the ones we will never forget.
The most famous films of Gina Lollobrigida
Bread love and fantasyLuigi Comencini, 1953
It is the film that consecrated the beginning of his career. Lollobrigida plays “the Bersagliera”, a girl for whom the Marshal of the Carabinieri of Sorrento, Vittoria De Sica, who has just moved to Abruzzo, loses his head. For this role she won a Silver Ribbon and was nominated for the Bafta, the prestigious British film awards. The film was an undisputed success: one and a half billion receipts.
The treasure of Africa, John Huston, 1953
This film by John Huston scored Lollobrigida’s entry into Hollywood. The actress stars opposite Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones and Peter Lorre in an action film adventure/parody of crime bosses. The screenplay was co-written with Truman Capote and is based on the novel of the same name by British critic Claud Cockburn.
The RomanLuigi Zampa, 1954
Based on the novel by Alberto Moravia, The Roman caused a scandal to the point that the script was reworked several times to circumvent the censorship by the director Luigi Zampa and by Moravia himself. The premiere of the film was held at the Venice Film Festival: the wait was skyrocketing but the welcome was lukewarm. Years later it was made into a television drama and Lollobrigida returned, this time in the role of the protagonist’s mother.
The most beautiful woman in the worldRobert Z. Leonard, 1955
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It is a biopic that traces the life of opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Lollobrigida is unforgettable alongside Vittorio Gassman and the film achieved great success becoming the blockbuster of the year. Plus the role led Gina Lollobrigida to win the David di Donatello as Best Actress in the very first year in which the award was established.
Come back in SeptemberRobert Mulligan, 1961
The film was highly anticipated due to the stellar cast: Rock Hudson who was the star of the moment in the States, Gina Lollobrigida and a young Sandra Dee. It is a light comedy set in Liguria, on the eastern coast where an American millionaire usually returns every year in September. Lollobrigida’s interpretation earned her the Golden Globe for the “Best Actress in the World” category, which no longer exists today.
Good evening Mrs CampbellMelvin Frank, 1968
There are those who argue that this film is the forerunner of the 1999 stage musical Oh mama! and its 2008 film adaptation. In fact, the story is similar: Carla Campbell, played by Gina Lollobrigida, is an Italian woman who, during the American occupation of Italy, sleeps with three American soldiers in 10 days. When she discovers she is pregnant, all three have moved on and she, unsure who fathers her, tries to get them to financially support her daughter Gia from her. Again, Lollobrigida earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Film and a David di Donatello Award for Best Actress.