We The Italians | Italian cinema: Stefania Sandrelli

Italian cinema: Stefania Sandrelli

Italian cinema: Stefania Sandrelli

  • WTI Magazine #165 Jul 24, 2023
  • 842

Shooting has begun in Naples on Paolo Sorrentino's new film inspired by the myth of Partenope. The mythical siren, rejected by Ulysses, in the screenplay becomes a woman, whose stream of existence Sorrentino narrates from 1950 when she was born to the present day, and will be played by none other than Stefania Sandrelli – one of Movieitaly’s most prominent cinema icons.

Don’t miss the chance to review some of Sandrelli’s best performances on Movieitaly+, the first streaming platform all’italiana, using a special discount dedicated to WeTheItalians magazine readers for 10% OFF on the Yearly Subscription: Movieitaly4WTI.

Stefania Sandrelli is indeed an Italian icon in the world of cinema. Born on June 5, 1946, in Viareggio, Tuscany, Sandrelli began her acting career at a young age and quickly rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s as one of Italy's most renowned actresses.

Since childhood, Stefania dreamed of studying dance and music at the school of Maestro Ugo Dall’Ara, in Genoa, just like her older brother Sergio, who later became an appreciated musician, with whom she experimented acting and filmmaking by shooting 8mm films until fame indulged her passion for cinema and acting.

Her breakthrough role came in 1960 when she starred in the film Divorzio all'italiana” directed by Pietro Germi. Sandrelli portrayed Angela, the young and attractive cousin of the character played by Marcello Mastroianni, her performance in the film garnered critical acclaim and earned her international recognition. In 1963 she starred in “La Bella di Lodi” by Mario Missiroli, a movie about desire, love, and the complex dynamics of relationships in the Italian 1960s background. The film takes place in many famous locations of Northern Italy, with the main characters meeting in the famous Tuscan riviera, Versilia, and travelling to Modena, Bologna, Venezia and ultimately to Lodi, taking the viewers with them.

Throughout her career, Sandrelli worked with many esteemed directors, including Bernardo Bertolucci, Ettore Scola, and Mario Monicelli, among others. She showcased her versatility by taking on various roles, from comedic to dramatic, and she became known for her natural beauty, charm, and captivating screen presence.

Her performances demonstrated her versatility and comedic timing, and she became well known for her ability of portraying vivacious and alluring characters. However, Sandrelli's talent extended beyond comedy, she also excelled in dramatic roles showcasing her range and depth as an actress, like in “Delitto D’amore” (1974) by Luigi Comencini, that tells  the story of the troubled love between two factory workers in northern Italy in the 1970s caught in between union demands and emigration.

In 1970 she added two unforgettable performances to her repertoire of dramatic roles: "Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini" (1970), directed by Vittorio De Sica, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s masterpiece "Il Conformista". The iconic dance scene with co-star Dominique Sanda leaves viewers breathless to this day and has been commemorated in the official poster of the prestigious film festival Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, that screened the 4K restoration of the film in Piazza Grande last year.

Another great success arrived in the 1980s with “Speriamo che sia femmina” (1986) by Mario Monicelli, that showcases a beautiful gallery of female portraits played by the most prominent actresses of European cinema, in a wide variety of dramatic tones, mixed with humour and grotesque elements – marking Sandrelli’s international success.

Her enduring appeal and contribution to Italian cinema have solidified her status as an iconic figure. Her talent, beauty, and memorable performances have left an indelible mark on the world of film, a contribution to Italian cinema which have earned her numerous accolades, including several David di Donatello Awards – the Italian Oscar. Her enduring popularity and status as an Italian icon are a testament to her talent and the impact she has had and still has on the film industry.

Don’t miss Stefania Sandrelli’s Icons collection on www.movieitalyplus.com with some of her most impressive performances!