Oscar Movies: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1964)–Starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni

Leri, Oggi e Domani

Of the many anthologies that came out of Italy in the 1960s (Boccacio 70, Marriage Italian Style) Vittorio De Sica’s Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, which won the Best Foreign-Lnaguage Film Oscar, is perhaps the most entertaining, in large part due to the individual sex appeal and charisma, and strong chemistry between it two stars, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, both at the peak of their careers.

In a change of pace, De Sica, better known for making seminal neo-realist dramas, such as the Oscar-winning “Shoeshine” (1946) and “The Bicycle Thieves” (1948), shows a light, easygoing touch in telling three slice-of-life of stories that while romantic and humorous still reflect the grimmer aspects of Italy’s social reality in the early 1960s.

In the first, Adelina, Sophia Loren lives a shabby life on the black market in Naples, before making the happy discovery that, according to Italian law, pregnant women cannot be sent to jail. The solution is pressure her already tired hubby Mastroianni to keep her pregnant for the next seven years.

The second and weakest chapter, Anna, sees Loren as a rich woman who tells her young, poor artist-lover that all she cares about is love and passion and that money has no place in her life.

Mara, the most memorable of the trio, culminates in the famous steamy striptease that Loren performs for her client, Rusconi (and for us viewers). As the titular hooker, Loren tries to dissuade a young seminary student from giving up the church for mundane pleasures like sex.

De Sica’s frequent collaborator, Cesare Zavattini, penned the second and third segmets. Production values are polished, courtesy of ace lenser Giuseppe Rotunno.

Oscar Alert

The other nominees for the Foreign-Language Oscar were “Raven’s End” from Sweden, “Sallah” from Israel, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” from France, and “Woman in the Dunes” from Japan.

Cast:

Carmine/Renzo/Augusto Rusconi (Marcello Mastroianni)
Adelina/Anna/Mara (Sophia Loren)

Credits

Color
Running time: 113 Minutes

Produced by Carlo Ponti
Directed by Vittorio De Sica
Camera: Giuseppe Rotunno