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Vittorio De Sica


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Vittorio D - 10/10
I just saw a perfect example of how a documentary should be... And it's a documentary on my very favorite director - Vittorio De Sica. I was watching this with pride as if I were his son. I've searched for one in the past, but somehow I ran into this while browsing Amazon Prime, which I know many have, and should check out. I never heard De Sica speaking English, so there are limitations on knowing everything you can about the man, but his movies speak on his poetic yet realistic humanity.... I liked how it divided into segment... You had "The Director", "The Actor", "The Man", "The Gambler", "The Father", etc.

You don't see any young "flavor of the month" directors or actors, not because they don't know him, but because whoever produced it made sure he got the best of the best..

Featured in this documentary
-Clint Eastwood
-Woody Allen
-Sophia Loren
-Federic Fellini
-Ken Loach
-Mike Leigh
-Shirley MacLaine
-Ettore Scola (great Italian director)
-Mario Monicello
-Paul Mazursky (who told De Sica that he was stealing "Umberto D" to make (my favorite movie), "Harry and Tonto"
-Dino DeLaurentis (great producer)
and many others, including his friends.

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I've only seen a handful of his films, but just on that basis I can see his stature in the history of film. I love that it's called Vittorio D, after Umberto D, because that's my favorite of the ones I've seen, though it tears my heart out to watch it. At first I was more aware of him as an actor in American films like It Started in Naples with Clark Gable and Sophia Loren, which I saw as a young teenager in a theater, but then by college age I started to see some of his work as a director in revival houses and film societies. One of my favorite surprises from TCM over the years was The Monte Carlo Story (1956) with De Sica and Marlene Dietrich, who both needed a mate with money but eventually settled for love. Beautiful location shooting on and around the harbor as well as in the hotel and casino and it nicely captured the life of the locals who relied on those institutions for their livelihoods. Somehow I remember (a biography?) Dietrich saying it was a strain to work with him because of his unpreparedness due to various late-night activities. It was an international co-production with a multi-lingual cast so the whole thing was eventually redubbed into various languages, which may have helped smooth out any rough edges. Anyway, not knowing any of that when I saw the movie I thought their late-in-life romance was charming and wonderfully realized. I'll definitely catch this documentary on Amazon Prime, so thanks for the heads-up.

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