The character of Filumena Marturano, played by Sophia Loren, is passionate and determined to protect her children. She is a sensual woman, aware of her life but determined not to be crushed by the prejudices reserved for “questionable” women as she was in her youth because of her poverty. Filumena is ignorant (as we can see in a famous scene in which she must affix her signature on a document), but she has a deep emotional intelligence that makes her loved by everyone. She also has a stubborn force that, in the epilogue, makes her reach that family love that she never received before and that redeems her from the suffering she has endured.
The locations where “Marriage Italian Style” has been shot
“Marriage Italian Style” is a film inspired by the play Filumena Marturano, which the great playwright Eduardo De Filippo wrote specifically for his sister, the great theatrical actress Titina De Filippo. The film, directed by Vittorio De Sica, tells the story of the tormented bond between the rich womanizer Domenico Soriano and the prostitute Filumena, a bond that born from a casual encounter occurred in the middle of a bombing during the Second World War.
Ercolano: Domenico’s interrogation to Filumena and the kiss
In Via Contrada Osservatorio there is an area called Atrio del Cavallo, which is the background for the protagonists in the scene in which Domenico tries to extract a precious information from Filumena: in fact, he desperately tries to convince Filumena to reveal to him which of the woman’s three children is his son. The correspondence of the place is confirmed by some spots that can be glimpsed in the film, and this is also the scene of the famous kiss between the protagonists at the height of a heated discussion.
Castel Nuovo in Naples: the Soriano pastry shop
The Soriano pastry shop that can we see in “Marriage Italian Style” is located at the corner of via Vittorio Emanuele III and via San Carlo, where today there is a bank located right in front of the triumphal arch of Castel Nuovo.
Piazza Bellini: Filumena and the lawyer, the signature scene
It is in this square dedicated to the great Italian musician of the 19th century that Filumena, as soon as she leaves the lawyer’s office, is joined by the factotum Alfredo. The latter, who has always been in love with her, asks her to marry him, thus making her a respectable woman and also taking charge of her three children.
Piazza del Gesù Nuovo: the symbolic place of the film
Piazza del Gesù Nuovo takes its name from the homonymous church and is located along the Lower Decumanus. In the film the square is crossed by Loren who runs, followed by the seamstress, in the scene in which she reaches Mastroianni/Domenico in the Church for the wedding. Palazzo Pandola is also located in this square.
Palazzo Pandola, where Filumena experiences love and family for the first time
The interiors of the building that overlooks the famous Piazza del Gesù become the home of Filumena. In the ending of “Marriage Italian Style”, the facade of Palazzo Pandola frames the closing lines of Filumena, who is sitting on the sofa while crying for happiness. Vittorio De Sica recalled that Sophia Loren was very moved while shooting the first take of this scene; perhaps this was the reason why the line in which she confessed to Domenico how good it is to cry came out in a strange baritone voice, which left all the bystanders stunned. In order not to impress the actress, the director continued to shoot this moving scene, then gently asked Loren to use a light tone and a higher pitch.
The most important things to know about “Marriage Italian Style”
- At first, it was Anna Magnani that was chosen for the role of the female protagonist, but Sophia Loren was then preferred in order to re-propose on the big screen the couple formed by Loren herself and by Marcello Mastroianni, a couple who already proved successful in the film “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” (also directed by De Sica).
- The film has won numerous awards, such as four David di Donatello Awards in 1965 (Best Director for Vittorio De Sica, Best Producer for Carlo Ponti, Best Leading Actress for Sophia Loren and Best Leading Actor for Marcello Mastroianni) and a Silver Ribbon Award in 1965 (Best Supporting Actress for Tecla Scarano).
- “Marriage Italian Style” was also a huge commercial success, so much so that at the box office it kept up with a classic film like “Goldfinger”, which was released in theaters in Italy at the same time.