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In the 1950s, when Gina Lollobrigida was known as a “sex bomb”, I began as a critic to see in her gifts that went beyond her more striking external charms. She was of course beautiful, so much that she could unhesitatingly play the part of Lina Cavalieri in a film where the Italian title described her as “the most beautiful woman in the world”. But her natural talents, her education, her training in art, and the great directors she had worked with (from Blasetti to De Sica, Castellani, Delannoy, Siodmak, Skolimowski and Huston) refined her instinctive gifts. They taught her to exercise not only natural but also intelligent control over her presence on a set and before long made her a complete actress, one that could truly be described as both talented and beautiful, a combination that is seldom found in cinema. Apart from the performances of exceptional quality in films such as Comencini’s Bread, Love and Dreams and Castellani’s Crazy Sea, however, she naturally established herself over the years through her status as a universally acclaimed goddess.

by Gian Luigi Rondi, movie critic

And who is Gina?


"TIME", 1954



In Europe she is the most famous seven syllables since “Come up and see me some time”.
She is the girl who, according to Humphrey Bogart, “makes Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple”. She is the modern Italian who.

Last month she won the Nastro d’Argento, the Italian equivalent of Hollywood’s Oscar, as the “Best Actress of 1954” for her performance in Bread, Love and Dreams.

According to the famous photographer of women, Philippe Halsman, “She has the finest figure among all the actresses I have known”. In Paris a new phrase (Les Lollos) is being used in a brassiere advertisement.

Frisky


in BREAD, LOVE AND DREAMS (1953)

With Vittorio De Sica. The film broke all box-office records in Italy and the character brought Gina worldwide fame as an actress.



USA Critics


Bosley Crowther, “NY Times”: “Gina is lovely… voluptuous… a vixen!”
Wm K. Zinsser, “Herald Tribune”: “Gina is every inch a queen… beautiful and tempestuous!”
Archer Winsten, “NY Post”: “Gina makes Frisky a charmer of warm appeal!”
Justin Gilbert, “NY Mirror”: “Gina, the girl who put the ‘It’ in Italy!”

Lina Cavalieri


in BEAUTIFUL BUT DANGEROUS (1955)

Gina sang all the songs in Beautiful but Dangerous, including the aria Vissi d’Arte from Tosca, to the amazement and the incredulity of the critics. “Le Figaro” and “The New York Times” praised the voice but rashly expressed the doubts as to whose it was. Even Gina’s friend Maria Callas asked her twice before being convinced that it was really her singing in the film, and Luciano Pavarotti praised her voice in a live interview on television. Unfortunately, Gina was then too apprehensive to continue with a singing career despite the attractive proposals received from the United States.

Lola


in TRAPEZE (1956)

Circus aficionados consider Trapeze the best film ever made on the big top. Gina was very fond of the director Carol Reed, who spent the evening confiding in her as a dear friend. While shooting, Gina wanted to do even the most dangerous scenes herself rather than leave them to her stand-in, so Reed took the prudent measure of filming them early in the morning before she arrived on set. But the trapeze artist fell and broke her nose, so Gina worked for a month with no stand-in.

Esmeralda


in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME (1956)

France Soir “It’s Gina's film. From now on she will be inseparable from Esmeralda, who she plays perfectly. It’s sublime”.

L’Humanité “Gina Lollobrigida is the most beautiful and intelligent of the Esmeraldas ever seen on the big screens”.

Le Monde “The film has vigor, brio and class”.

Jours de France “Worthy of being ranked alongside the greatest super-productions of
world cinema”.

Les Nouvelles Littéraires “They are all superb. Jean Delannoy is entitled to all our admiration for having directed this prestigious cast so well”.

The Queen of Sheba


in SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959)

The censorship was very strict and quite unreasonable at the time, and some movements from the dance
of the Queen of Sheba were cut as too suggestive
and allusive.


From the press review “Magda, the Queen of Sheba, portrayed by Gina Lollobrigida. The beautiful Italian actress describes her role as the greatest any actress has ever been privileged to play. ‘There is’, she adds, ‘only one trouble with having played the most famous courtesan of all time and that is, after Sheba, all other roles will certainly seem tame’”.

Pauline Borghese


in IMPERIAL VENUS (1962)

Directed by Jean Delannoy, the film was shot in 75mm in a double original version in English
and in French.


SHE LET HERSELF BE ADORED AND SHE ADORED THE EMPEROR

Gina dared to assume the pose of Pauline Borghese. Before the actress would agree to shoot this scene of Imperial Venus in Rome, it was necessary to arrange for Cinecittà studios to be surrounded by a regiment of Bersaglieri. Their mission: to keep all prying eyes out. Gina was in fact required to assume the celebrated pose of the heroine she embodies in the film, namely Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s younger sister, who scandalized the whole of Europe for the number of her amorous liaisons. Generously disrobed, she posed in 1811 as an ancient divinity for the sculptor Antonio Canova. “How could you?”, asked a friend. “It was easy”, she replied. “Canova’s studio was heated”.

Ippolita


in SHE GOT WHAT SHE ASKED FOR (1962)

Based on the book by Elio Bartolini, the film She Got What She Asked For pokes fun at male vanity, which still survives in Latin countries. The critics had this to say: “Impetuous, earthy, amiable, high-spirited, rebellious, Lollobrigida at her best”.

The Blue Fairy


in PINOCCHIO (1971)

I am very satisfied with my role”, said Gina.
“While we were filming I seemed to have a magical power over children, who watched me with admiration and respect. The film’s modernity lies in the fact that I am no longer a good fairy but a mother; a mother like thousands of others, concerned for her undisciplined child. And to make the character even more up-to-date, my clothes are very simple. The magical aspects are my fabulous turquoise hair and the way I play the harp and sing”.

Being popular with children was a new and almost heavenly experience for Gina, something very different from her popularity with adults.

1946.

The Black Eagle



1946.

Lucia di Lammermoor



1947.

The Secret of Don Giovanni



1947.

The Crime of Giovanni Episcopo



1947.

A Man About the House



1947.

Elisir of Love



1948.

Mad About Opera, Director Mario Costa



1948.

Love of a Clown with Tito Gobbi, Director Mario Costa



1949.

A Tale of Five Cities with Marcello Mastroianni



1949.

Bell and Hammer with Eduardo De Filippo, Director Luigi Zampa



1949.

The Bride Can’t Wait with Gino Cervi



1950.

Miss Italia with Luigi Almirante and Umberto Melnati



1950.

Hearts Without Boundaries with Raf Vallone, Director Luigi Zampa



1950.

A Dog’s World with Aldo Fabrizi, Director Mario Monicelli



1950.

Alina with Amedeo Nazzari



1951.

Far Ways Out Director Pietro Germi



1951.

The Young Caruso Director Giacomo Gentilomo



1951.

Achtung! Bandits! with Andrea Cecchi, Director Carlo Lizzani



1951.

Fanfan the Tulipe



1951.

Love I haven’t...But...But with Renato Rascel and Luigi Pavese



1952.

Times Gone By with Vittorio De Sica



1952.

The Beauty of the Night with Gérard Philipe, Director René Clair



1952.

Bride for a Night with Gino Cervi and Paolo Stoppa,
Director Mario Camerini



1953.

The Unfaithful with Irene Papas, Director Steno and Mario Monicelli



1953.

The Wayward Wife with Gabriele Ferzetti, Director Mario Soldati



1953.

Crossed Swords with Errol Flynn



1953.

Beat the Devil with Humphrey Bogart, Director John Huston



1953.

Bread, Love and Dreams with Vittorio De Sica, Director Luigi Comencini



1954.

Flesh and the Woman with Jean-Claude Pascal



1954.

Woman of Rome Director Luigi Zampa



1954.

Frisky with Vittorio De Sica, Director Luigi Comencini



1955.

Beautiful but Dangerous with Vittorio Gassman



1956.

Trapeze with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, Director Carol Reed



1956.

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame with Anthony Quinn, Director Jean Delannoy



1957-1958.

Fast and Sexy with Vittorio De Sica and Peppino De Filippo



1958.

Where the Hot Wind Blows with Marcello Mastroianni and Yves Montand, Director Jules Dassin



1959.

Never So Few with Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen



1958-1959.

Solomon and Sheba with Yul Brynner, Director King Vidor



1960.

Go Naked in the World with Ernest Borgnine



1960-1961.

Come September with Rock Hudsonn



1962.

She Got What She Asked For with Enrico Maria Salerno



1962.

Imperial Venus with Massimo Girotti, Director Jean Delannoy



1963.

Crazy Sea with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Director Renato Castellani



1963.

Woman of Straw with Sean Connery



1964.

Strange Bedfellows with Rock Hudson, Director Melvin Frank



1964.

The Dolls with Jean Sorel, Director Mauro Bolognini



1966.

Me... Me... and the Others with Walter Chiari, Director Alessandro Blasetti



1966.

The Sultans with Louis Jourdan, Director Jean Delannoy



1966.

Hôtel Paradiso with Alec Guinness, Director Peter Glenville



1966.

Cervantes with Louis Jourdan and Fernando Rey, Director Vincent Sherman



1966.

Pleasant Night with Vittorio Gassman and Ugo Tognazzi



1967.

A Curious Way to Love with Jean-Louis Trintignant



1967.

The Private Navy with Bob Hope



1968.

Buonasera Mrs. Campbell with Philippe Leroy, Director Mel Frank



1968.

A Beautiful November with Gabriele Ferzetti, Director Mauro Bolognini



1969.

Stuntman with Robert Viharo, Director Marcello Baldi



1969.

Tonight Gina Lollobrigida (Italian TV Show), Director Antonello Falqui



1970.

Bad Man River with James Mason and Lee Van Cleef



1971.

Pinocchio with Nino Manfredi, Director Luigi Comencini



1972.

King, Queen, Knave with David Niven, Director Jerzy Skolimowski



1972.

Mortal Sin with DAnielle Darrieux, Director Francisco Rovira-Beleta



1984.

Falcon Crest (American TV Serial) with Jane Wyman



1985.

Deceptions (teleplay) with Stephanie Powers



1988.

Woman of Rome (Film TV)



1995.

A Hundred and One Nights with Jean-Paul Belmondo



1996.

A Woman on the Run (Italian TV Serial), Director Roberto Rocco



1996.

XXL with Gérard Depardieu, Director Ariel Zeitoun



2011.

Box Office 3D