Vittorio De Sica
De Sica in 1959
|Died||13 November 1974 (aged 73)|
Four of the films he directed won Academy Awards: Sciuscià and Bicycle Thieves (honorary), while Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Il giardino dei Finzi Contini won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Indeed, the great critical success of Sciuscià (the first foreign film to be so recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and Bicycle Thieves helped establish the permanent Best Foreign Film Award. These two films are considered part of the canon of classic cinema. Bicycle Thieves was cited by Turner Classic Movies as one of the 15 most influential films in cinema history.
De Sica was also nominated for the 1957 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing Major Rinaldi in American director Charles Vidor's 1957 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, a movie that was panned by critics and proved a box office flop. De Sica's acting was considered the highlight of the film.
Life and career
He was born on 7 July 1901 in Sora, Lazio, the son of Neapolitan parents. Raised in poverty, De Sica began his career as a theatre actor in the early 1920s and joined Tatiana Pavlova's theatre company in 1923. In 1933 he founded his own company with his wife Giuditta Rissone and Sergio Tofano. The company performed mostly light comedies, but they also staged plays by Beaumarchais and worked with famous directors like Luchino Visconti.
His meeting with Cesare Zavattini was a very important event: together they created some of the most celebrated films of the neorealistic age, like Sciuscià (Shoeshine) and Bicycle Thieves (released as The Bicycle Thief in America), both of which De Sica directed.
His passion for gambling was well known. Because of it, he often lost large sums of money and accepted work that might not otherwise have interested him. He never kept his gambling a secret from anyone; in fact, he projected it on characters in his own movies, like Count Max (which he acted in but did not direct) and The Gold of Naples, as well as in General Della Rovere, a film directed by Rossellini in which De Sica played the title role.
In 1937 Vittorio De Sica married the actress Giuditta Rissone, who gave birth to their daughter, Emilia (Emi). In 1942, on the set of Un garibaldino al convento, he met Spanish actress María Mercader (cousin of Ramon Mercader, Leon Trotsky's assassin), with whom he started a relationship. After divorcing Rissone in France in 1954, he married Mercader in 1959 in Mexico, but this union was not considered valid under Italian law. In 1968 he obtained French citizenship and married Mercader in Paris. Meanwhile, he had already had two sons with her: Manuel, in 1949, a musician, and Christian, in 1951, who would follow his father's path as an actor and director.
He was a Roman Catholic. Although divorced, De Sica never parted from his first family. He led a double family life, with double celebrations on holidays. It is said that, at Christmas and on New Year's Eve, he used to put back the clocks by two hours in Mercader's house so that he could make a toast at midnight with both families. His first wife agreed to keep up the facade of a marriage so as not to leave her daughter without a father.
Awards and nominations
Vittorio De Sica was given the Interfilm Grand Prix in 1971 by the Berlin International Film Festival.
- Miracolo a Milano
- Umberto D.
- Cannes Film Festival Official Selection
- Stazione Termini
- Cannes Film Festival Official Selection
- L'oro di Napoli
- Cannes Film Festival Official Selection
- Il Tetto
- Cannes Film Festival OCIC Award Winner
- Anna di Brooklyn
- La Ciociara
- Cannes Film Festival Official Selection
- Matrimonio all'italiana
- Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini
- Nastro d'Argento for Best Director 1946 for Sciuscià
- Academy Award 1947 Honorary Award to the Italian production for Sciuscià (Shoeshine)
- Academy Award 1949 Special Foreign Language Film Award for Bicycle Thieves
- BAFTA (British Academy Award) 1950 Best film Bicycle Thieves
- Academy Award 1965 Best Foreign Language film for Ieri, oggi, domani (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow)
- Academy Award 1972 Best Foreign Language film for Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini
Filmography as director
|Italian title||English title||Notes||Released|
|Maddalena, zero in condotta||Maddalena, Zero for Conduct||1940|
|Teresa Venerdì||Do You Like Women, Doctor Beware||1941|
|Un garibaldino al convento||A Garibaldian in the Convent||1942|
|I bambini ci guardano||The Children Are Watching Us, The Little Martyr||1944|
|La porta del cielo||The Gate of Heaven||1945|
|Sciuscià||Shoeshine||Academy Award-winner (Special Award); Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay (Sergio Amidei, Adolfo Franci & Cesare Zavattini)||1946|
|Cuore||Heart, Heart and Soul||Co-director||1948|
|Ladri di biciclette||Bicycle Thieves, The Bicycle Thief||Academy Award-winner (Special Award); Academy Award nominee, Best Writing-Screenplay (Cesare Zavattini)||1948|
|Miracolo a Milano||Miracle in Milan||1951|
|Umberto D.||N/A||Academy Award nominee, Best Writing-Story (Cesare Zavattini)||1952|
|Stazione Termini||Terminal Station, Station Terminus, Indiscretion of an American Wife||1953|
|L'oro di Napoli||The Gold of Naples||1954|
|Il Tetto||The Roof||1956|
|Anna di Brooklyn||Anna of Brooklyn, Fast and Sexy||Co-director||1958|
|La Ciociara||Two Women||Academy Award-winner, Best Actress (Sophia Loren)||1960|
|Il Giudizio universale||The Last Judgment||1961|
|I sequestrati di Altona||The Condemned of Altona||1962|
|Boccaccio '70||N/A||Short film – segment La riffa||1962|
|Ieri, oggi e domani||Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow||Academy Award-winner, Best Foreign Film||1963|
|Matrimonio all'italiana||Marriage Italian-Style||Academy Award-nominee, Best Foreign Film, Best Actress (Sophia Loren)||1964|
|Un monde nouveau||A New World||1966|
|Caccia alla volpe||After the Fox||1966|
|Sette Volte Donna||Woman Times Seven||1967|
|Le streghe||The Witches||Short film – segment Sera come le altre, Una||1967|
|Amanti||A Place for Lovers||1968|
|Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini||The Garden of the Finzi-Continis||Academy Award-winner, Best Foreign Film||1970|
|Le Coppie||The Couples||Short film – segment Il Leone||1970|
|Dal referendum alla costituzione: Il 2 giugno||From Referendum to the Constitution: 2 June||Documentary||1971|
|I Cavalieri di Malta||The Knights of Malta||Documentary||1971|
|Lo chiameremo Andrea||We'll Call Him Andrea||1972|
|Una Breve vacanza||A Brief Vacation||1973|
|Il viaggio||The Voyage||1974|
Filmography as actor
- Il processo Clemenceau (1917, by Alfredo De Antoni) as Pierre Clémenceau bambino
- La bellezza del mondo (1927, by Mario Almirante)
- La compagnia dei matti (1928, by Mario Almirante) as Prof. Rosolillo
- La vecchia signora (1932, by Amleto Palermi) as Il fine dicitore
- Gli uomini, che mascalzoni! (1932, by Mario Camerini) as Bruno
- Due cuori felici (1932, by Baldassarre Negroni) as Mister Brown
- Paprika (1933, by Carl Boese)
- Pasa el amor (1933, by Adolf Trotz)
- Lisetta (1934, by Carl Boese) as Fritz Peters
- La canzone del sole (1934, by Max Neufeld (he stars too the German version titles Das lied der sonne)) as Dr. Giuseppe Paladino
- Un cattivo soggetto (1933, by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia) as Willy
- La segretaria per tutti (1933, by Amleto Palermi) as Un gagà
- Tempo massimo (1934, by Mario Mattoli) as Il professore Giacomo Banti
- Il signore desidera? (1934, by Gennaro Righelli) as Martino
- The Song of the Sun (1934, by Max Neufeld) as Paladino, il avvocato
- Darò un milione (1935, by Mario Camerini) as Gold
- Amo te sola (1936, by Mario Mattoli) as Prof. Giovanni Agano
- Non ti conosco più (1936, by Nunzio Malasomma) as Il dottore Alberto Spinelli
- Lohengrin (1936, by Nunzio Malasomma) as Alfredo
- L'uomo che sorride (1937, by Mario Mattoli) as Pio Fardella
- Il signor Max (1937, by Mario Camerini) as Gianni / Max Varaldo
- But It's Nothing Serious (1937, by Mario Camerini) as Memmo Speranza
- Naples of Olden Times (1938, by Amleto Palermi) as Mario Esposito
- La mazurka di papà (1938, by Oreste Biancoli) as Stefano San Mauro / Il figlio di San Mauro
- Il Trionfo dell'amore (1938, by Mario Mattoli) as Vincenzo
- L'orologio a cucù (1938, by Camillo Mastrocinque) as Il capitano Ducci
- Departure (1938, by Amleto Palermi) as Paolo Veronda
- They've Kidnapped a Man (1938, by Gennaro Righelli) as L'attore cinematografico
- Ai vostri ordini, signora! (1939, by Mario Mattoli) as Pietro Haguet
- Naples That Never Die (1939, by Amleto Palermi)
- Questi ragazzi (1939, by Mario Mattoli) as Vincenzo
- Castles in the Air (1939, by Augusto Genina (He stars too the German version Ins blaue leben)) as Riccardo Pietramola
- Department Store (1939, by Mario Camerini) as Bruno Zacchi
- It Always Ends That Way (1939, by Enrique Telémaco Susini) as Alberto Miller
- Manon Lescaut (1940, by Carmine Gallone) as Renato Des Grieux
- Two on a Vacation (1940, by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia) as Il conte Corrado Valli
- Red Roses (1940, by Giuseppe Amato and Vittorio De Sica) as Alberto Verani
- The Two Mothers (1940, by Amleto Palermi) as Salvatore
- The Sinner (1940, by Amleto Palermi) as Pietro Bandelli
- Maddalena, Zero for Conduct (1940, by Vittorio De Sica) as Alfredo Hartman
- The Adventuress from the Floor Above (1941, by Raffaello Matarazzo (script too, not credited)) as Fabrizio Marchini
- Teresa Venerdì (1941, by Vittorio De Sica) as Dott. Pietro Vignali
- Se io fossi onesto (1942, by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia (script too)) as Pietro Kovach
- A Garibaldian in the Convent (1942, by Vittorio De Sica) as Nino Bixio (uncredited)
- La guardia del corpo (1942, by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia (script too)) as Riccardo, L'investigatore privato
- Non sono superstizioso... ma! (1943, by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia (script too)) as Il barone Roberto
- I nostri sogni (1943, by Vittorio Cottafavi (script too)) as Leo
- Nessuno torna indietro (1945, by Alessandro Blasetti) as Maurizio
- L'ippocampo (1945, by Gian Paolo Rosmino (script too, and assistant to director, not credited)) as Pio Sandi
- Vivere ancora (1945, by Nino Giannini)
- Lo sbaglio di essere vivo (1945, by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia) as Adriano Lari
- Roma città libera (1946, by Marcello Pagliero) as Il signore distinto
- Abbasso la ricchezza! (1946, by Gennaro Righelli (story and script too)) as Il conte Ghirani
- Natale al campo 119 (1947, regia di Pietro Francisci (script too and supervision director, not credited)) as Don Vicenzino
- Sperduti nel buio (1947, by Camillo Mastrocinque) as Nunzio
- Lo Sconosciuto di San Marino (1948, by Michal Waszynski and Vittorio Cottafavi) as Leo, l'ateo
- Cuore (1948, by Duilio Coletti (producer and script too)) as Professor Perboni
- Il mondo vuole così (1949, by Giorgio Bianchi) as Paolo Morelli
- Domani è troppo tardi (1949, by Léonide Moguy (consulting director too, not credited)) as Il professor Landi
- Cameriera bella presenza offresi... (1951, by Giorgio Pàstina) as Leonardo Leonardi
- Mamma mia, che impressione! (1951, by Roberto Savarese)
- Buongiorno, elefante! (1952, by Gianni Franciolini (producer too)) as Carlo Caretti
- Gli uomini non guardano il cielo (1952, by Umberto Scarpelli)
- In Olden Days (1952, by Alessandro Blasetti) as L'Avvocato Difensore (segment "Il processo di Frine")
- The Earrings of Madame de... (1953, by Max Ophüls) as Baron Fabrizio Donati
- Villa Borghese (1953, by Gianni Franciolini) as L'avvocato Arturo Cavazzuti (segment: Incidente a Villa Borghese)
- Pane, amore e fantasia (1953, by Luigi Comencini) as Maresciallo Carotenuto
- Il matrimonio (1954, by Antonio Petrucci) as Gregory Stefanovich Smirnov
- Cento anni d'amore (1954, by Lionello De Felice) as Duke Giovanni del Bagno aka Signor Pallini (segment "Pendolin")
- Gran Varietà (1954, by Domenico Paolella) as Veneziani - il fine dicitore (segment "Il censore")
- A Slice of Life (1954, by Alessandro Blasetti et Paul Paviot) as Il conte Ferdinando (segment "Don Corradino")
- Il letto (1954, by Gianni Franciolini) as Roberto (segment "Divorce, Le")
- Vergine moderna (1954, by Marcello Pagliero) as Antonio Valli
- Allegro squadrone (1954, by Paolo Moffa) as Il generale
- Pane, amore e gelosia (1954, by Luigi Comencini) as Maresciallo Carotenuto
- L'oro di Napoli (1954, by Vittorio De Sica) as Il conte Prospero B. (segment "I giocatori") (uncredited)
- Peccato che sia una canaglia (1954, by Alessandro Blasetti) as Vittorio Stroppiani
- Il segno di Venere (1955, by Dino Risi) as Alessio Spano
- Gli ultimi cinque minuti (1955, by Giuseppe Amato) as Carlo Reani
- La bella mugnaia (1955, by Mario Camerini) as Don Teofilo - governatore
- Racconti romani (1955, by Gianni Franciolini) as Avvocato Mazzoni Baralla
- Pane, amore e... (1955, by Dino Risi) as Comandante Carotenuto
- Lucky to Be a Woman (1955, by Alessandro Blasetti) as Minor Role (uncredited)
- Il bigamo (1956, by Luciano Emmer) as L'onorevole Principe / Attorney Principe
- I giorni più belli (1956, by Mario Mattoli)
- Mio figlio Nerone (1956, by Steno) as Seneca
- Tempo di villeggiatura (1956, by Antonio Racioppi) as Aristide Rossi
- The Monte Carlo Story (1956, by Samuel Taylor and Giulio Macchi (director's assistant too)) as Count Dino della Fiaba
- Noi siamo le colonne (1956, by Luigi Filippo D'Amico) as Alfredo Celimontani
- Padri e figli (1957, by Mario Monicelli) as Vincenzo Corallo
- I colpevoli (1957, by Turi Vasile) as Giorgio
- Souvenir d'Italie (1957, by Antonio Pietrangeli) as The Count
- Count Max (1957, by Giorgio Bianchi) as Conte Max Orsini Varaldo
- Casinò de Paris (1957, by André Hunebelle) as Alexandre Gordy
- La donna che venne dal mare (1957, by Francesco De Robertis (1957) as Console Bordogin
- Il medico e lo stregone (1957, by Mario Monicelli) as Antonio Locoratolo
- A Farewell to Arms (1957, directed by Charles Vidor (Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor) as Major Alessandro Rinaldi
- Vacanze a Ischia (1957, by Mario Camerini) as Ingegner Occhipinti
- Totò, Vittorio e la dottoressa (1957, by Camillo Mastrocinque) as Marchese De Vitti
- Amore e chiacchiere (1958, by Alessandro Blasetti) as Avvocato Bonelli
- Domenica è sempre domenica (1958, by Camillo Mastrocinque) as Comandante Castaldi
- Anna of Brooklyn (1958, by Carlo Lastricati and Vittorio De Sica) as Don Luigi
- Pezzo, capopezzo e capitano (1958, by Wolfgang Staudte) as Il comandante Ernesto De Rossi
- Ballerina e buon Dio (1958, by Antonio Leonviola) as God
- Gli zitelloni (1958, by Giorgio Bianchi) as Il professore
- Pane, amore e Andalusia (1958, by Javier Setó (director's assistant too)) as Maresciallo Carotenuto
- La ragazza di Piazza San Pietro (1958, by Piero Costa) as Armando Conforti
- La prima notte (1959, by Alberto Cavalcanti) as Alfredo
- Il nemico di mia moglie (1959, by Gianni Puccini) as Ottavio Terenzi, padre di Marco
- Uomini e nobiluomini (1959, by Giorgio Bianchi) as Marchese Nicola Peccori Macinelli di Afragola
- Vacanze d'inverno (1959, by Camillo Mastrocinque) as Maurice
- Il mondo dei miracoli (1959, by Luigi Capuano) as Director Pietro Giordani
- Il moralista (1959, by Giorgio Bianchi) as The O. I. M. P. President
- Il generale della Rovere (1959, by Roberto Rossellini) as Bardone AKA 'Grimaldi'
- Ferdinando I, re di Napoli (1959, by Gianni Franciolini) as Salvatore Caputo
- Nel blu dipinto di blu (1959, by Piero Tellini) as Spartaco
- Policarpo, ufficiale di scrittura (1959, by Mario Soldati)
- Gastone (1960, by Mario Bonnard) as The prince
- The Angel Wore Red (1960, by Nunnally Johnson and Mario Russo) as Gen. Clave
- Austerlitz (1960, by Abel Gance) as Pope Pius VII
- It Started in Naples (1960, by Melville Shavelson) as Mario Vitale
- Le tre eccetera del colonnello (1960, by Claude Boissol) as Colonel Belalcazar
- Le pillole di Ercole (1960, by Luciano Salce) as Piero Cuocolo
- The Millionairess (1960, by Anthony Asquith) as Joe
- Il vigile (1960, by Luigi Zampa) as Il sindaco
- Un amore a Roma (1960, by Dino Risi) as Director
- Gli attendenti (1961, by Giorgio Bianchi) as Attore di Fumetti
- L'onorata società (1961, by Riccardo Pazzaglia) as Salvatore, the 'Capintesta'
- Vive Henri IV, vive l'amour (1961, by Claude Autant-Lara) as L'ambassadeur d'Espagne
- The Last Judgment (1961, director) as Defense lawyer
- The Wonders of Aladdin (1961, by Mario Bava and Henry Levin) as Genie
- Gli incensurati (1961, by Francesco Giaculli) as Colonnello Filippo Bitossi
- I due marescialli (1961, by Sergio Corbucci) as Maresciallo Vittorio Cottone
- La Fayette (1962, by Jean Dréville) as Bancroft
- Eva (1962, by Joseph Losey and Guidarino Guidi) (uncredited)
- The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965, by Terence Young) as The Count
- Io, io, io... e gli altri (1966, by Alessandro Blasetti) as Commendator Trepossi
- Un italiano in America (1967, by Alberto Sordi) as Giuseppe's Father
- After the Fox (1966, director) as Himself (uncredited)
- Gli altri, gli altri e noi (1967, by Maurizio Arena)
- The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968, by Ken Annakin) as Cesare Celli
- Darling Caroline (1968, by Denys de la Patellière) as Le comte de Bièvre - le père de Caroline
- The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968, by Michael Anderson) as Cardinal Rinaldi
- If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969, by Mel Stuart) as Shoemaker
- The Thirteen Chairs (1969, by Nicolas Gessner and Luciano Lucignani) as Carlo De Seta - The Commendatore
- Cose di Cosa Nostra (1970, by Steno) as Don Michele
- Io non-vedo, tu non-parli, lui non-sente (1971, by Mario Camerini) as Player in Venice casino
- Trastevere (1971, by Fausto Tozzi) as Enrico Formichi
- Siamo tutti in libertà provvisoria (1972, by Manlio Scarpelli) as Giuseppe Mancini 'Pulcinella'
- Ettore lo fusto (1972, by Enzo G. Castellari) as Giove
- Snow Job (1972, by George Englund) as Enrico Dolphi
- L'odeur des fauves (1972, by Richard Balducci) as Milord
- Le avventure di Pinocchio (1972, by Luigi Comencini (both Film and TV versions)) as Il giudice
- The Small Miracle (1973, TV Movie, by Jeannot Szwarc) as Father Damico
- Storia de fratelli e de cortelli (1973, by Mario Amendola) as Maresciallo Cenciarelli
- Il delitto Matteotti (1973, by Florestano Vancini) as Mauro Del Giudice
- Viaggia, ragazza, viaggia, hai la musica nelle vene (1973, by Pasquale Squitieri)
- Blood for Dracula (1974, by Paul Morrissey and Antonio Margheriti) as Il Marchese Di Fiore
- C'eravamo tanto amati (1974, by Ettore Scola) as Himself
- Intorno (1974, Short, by Manuel De Sica)
- L'eroe (1976, TV Movie, by Manuel De Sica) (final film role)
Television appearances as actor
- Ebert, Roger. "The Bicycle Thief / Bicycle Thieves (1949)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- Ebert, Roger. "TCM's 15 most influential films of all time, and 10 from me". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- "A Farewell To Arms - TV Guide". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- Lambiase, Sergio (20 February 2013). "Foto e lettere inedite di De Sica, il ciociaro cosmopolita che voleva essere napoletano". Corriere del Mezzogiorno (in Italian). Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- Cardullo 2002, p. 29.
- Cardullo 2002, pp. 128, 164.
- Curle & Snyder 2000, p. 12.
- Bondanella, Peter (1993). The Films of Roberto Rossellini. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 119. ISBN 0-521-39236-5.
- Cardullo 2002, p. 3.
- "Famous Catholics". www.adherents.com. Archived from the original on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Kaufman, Michael T. (14 November 1974). "Vittorio De Sica, 73, Dies; Neorealist Movie Director". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- "IMDB.com: Awards for Anna di Brooklyn". imdb.com. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "4th Moscow International Film Festival (1965)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- "Berlinale 1971: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- "The 37th Academy Awards (1965) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "The 38th Academy Awards (1966) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "The 44th Academy Awards (1972) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- Cardullo, Bert (2002). Vittorio De Sica: Director, Actor, Screenwriter. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-1135-X.
- Curle, Howard; Snyder, Stephen (2000). Vittorio De Sica: Contemporary Perspectives. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-0654-X.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vittorio De Sica.|
- Vittorio De Sica on IMDb
- Vittorio De Sica director bio for The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Sony Pictures Entertainment website, retrieved 8 April 2006
- Vittorio De Sica Review Wall Street Journal article, retrieved 9 March 2013