Film at Lincoln Center and Cinecittà announce “Sophia Loren: La Signora di Napoli,” a 13-film retrospective celebrating the beloved Italian star’s essential body of work, to be presented at FLC from June 7 through June 13. This first-ever New York retrospective dedicated to Sophia Loren’s films will feature many brand-new restorations of her most enduring works, as well as an introduction and Q&A with filmmaker Edoardo Ponti. 

Sophia Loren’s eternal beauty, undeniable charisma, and naturalism of ever-surprising depth and sophistication have made her one of the greatest treasures of world cinema. Launched to global fame with her vividly embodied turn in Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women (1960)—for which she won a Cannes Best Actress prize, the British Academy Award, and the Oscar for Best Actress (making history as the first actress to win for a foreign-language film)—Loren represented something startlingly fresh and alluring to audiences from all over: here was perhaps the first international movie star. Moving freely between major Hollywood films and European productions, equally skilled at drama or comedy, she harnessed her versatile charm and earthy intensity for a range of directors—from Altman, Donen, and Chaplin, to Risi, Scola, and, on many occasions, De Sica (up to his final film)—and in indelible roles opposite the likes of Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando, Omar Sharif, and Marcello Mastroianni, with whom she fostered, across 14 features, one of cinema’s greatest on-screen duos.

“It is always a pleasure to partner with Cinecittà, with whom we have collaborated on some of our most popular retrospectives of all time—and this year we honor a living screen legend with a long overdue retrospective,” said Florence Almozini, Film at Lincoln Center’s Vice President of Programming. “To be able to present some of Sophia Loren’s most iconic films, many of which are coming to New York newly restored, is an absolute delight and honor.”

“I am very happy to promote this retrospective journey to celebrate Sophia Loren at Film at Lincoln Center,” says Chiara Sbarigia, President of Cinecittà. “As we review the long gallery of unforgettable characters that she has portrayed, we give back to the audience a universal talent admired by diverse generations worldwide. The new restoration we are premiering in New York, alongside her other masterpieces, shows us a versatile actress, mastering all expressive registers in her acting: She is light yet profound, and she tackles different genres from drama to sophisticated comedy with the same incomparable mastery. Sophia Loren has put her intense beauty at the service of her immense talent, representing a unique model of femininity that has inspired millions of viewers. With this tribute to one of the greatest stars in the history of cinema, Cinecittà intends to narrate the story of a timeless myth that continues to inspire generations of actors, directors, and cinephiles worldwide and to enhance once again in the world the great strength of Italian cinema.”

“Sophia Loren: La Signora di Napoli” highlights the trajectory of Loren’s remarkable career, featuring new restorations of films rarely screened in the United States, from her ascendant roles for Mario Mattoli (Poverty and Nobility) and Dino Risi (The Sign of Venus) to her powerhouse, Oscar-winning turn in Two Women, to her quintessential collaborations with Mastroianni and De Sica (such as Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage Italian Style; and A Special Day), and her most recent starring role in Edoardo Ponti’s The Life Ahead. The series will also include ​​the world premiere of a 4K restoration by Cinecittà of Too Bad She’s Bad by Alessandro Blasetti, who gave Loren her first major role in a feature film and features Loren and Mastroianni’s first appearance together as an artistic couple.

Highlights of Loren’s illustrious international career featured in the series include the world premiere of a 4K restoration of Stanley Donen’s Arabesque (1966), starring Loren and Gregory Peck in a deliriously mod comic-thriller; the New York premiere of the 4K restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s A Countess From Hong Kong (1967), his final film and his only film in color, which stars Loren as the titular countess and Marlon Brando as an American diplomat; and Robert Altman’s Ready to Wear (1994) presented on 35mm, starring Loren among a sprawling cast of international luminaries that includes Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Kim Basinger, Lauren Bacall, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, and Forest Whitaker.

Acknowledgements: Compass Film; Movietime; Palomar; Rai Cinema; Surf Film; Titanus.

Tickets will go on sale on Friday, May 10 at noon, with an early access period for FLC Members starting Thursday, May 9 at noon. Tickets are $17; $14 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $12 for FLC Members. See more and save with a 3+ Film Package ($15 for GP; $12 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $10 for FLC Members).

Organized by Florence Almozini and Tyler Wilson of Film at Lincoln Center, and by Paola Ruggiero, Camilla Cormanni, and Marco Cicala of Cinecittà. Co-produced by Cinecittà, Rome. 


All films will screen at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th Street).

Poverty and Nobility / Miseria e nobiltà
Mario Mattoli, 1954, Italy, 95m
Italian with English subtitles

Poverty and Nobility

This raucously entertaining farce—an adaptation of Eduardo Scarpetta’s best-known play—finds an ascendant 19-year-old Sophia Loren, in one of her first major roles, starring opposite the unassailable superstar Totò. It’s the late 19th century in Naples: Felice (Totò) and Pasquale (Enzo Turco) are down-and-out artists living under one grotty roof with their respective families, who are behind on rent and constantly bickering and fighting over spaghetti (and stuffing it in their pockets). A chance to live like the other half comes their way when a nobleman convinces the household to pose as his extended aristocratic family in order to gain the approval of his fiancée Gemma’s (Loren) father. Mario Mattoli’s colorful, theatrical staging and scalpel-sharp sight gags give his social satire a delightfully hilarious edge while his dialed-in cast brings out the musicality of Scarpetta’s whip-smart dialogue. 2K DCP by Cinecittà.
Sunday, June 9 at 1:00pm
Thursday, June 13 at 1:30pm

World Premiere of 4K Restoration
Too Bad She’s Bad / Peccato che sia una canaglia
Alessandro Blasetti, 1954, Italy, 97m

Too Bad She’s Bad

“The spark between us was immediate… We played our roles guided by instinct, and with a panache that for me was a revelation,” Sophia Loren said of the film that announced her and Marcello Mastroianni as one of cinema’s most magnetic on-screen duos. Too Bad She’s Bad charts the mayhem that ensues when an honest cabbie (Mastroianni, in his first major comedic role) gets caught in the middle of a car theft by a working-class, thieving father and daughter—a smooth-talking Vittorio De Sica and his soon-to-be muse Loren. Alessandro Blasetti’s irresistibly charming and funny adaptation of Alberto Moravia’s short story “Il fanatico” roots its screwball antics and rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue in the economic reality of postwar Rome, and gives Loren a role tailor-made for her inimitable, commanding power to mince and subvert male desire. 4K digital restoration by Cinecittà.
Saturday, June 8 at 5:45pm
Wednesday, June 12 at 8:30pm

The Sign of Venus / Il segno di Venere
Dino Risi, 1955, Italy, 101m
Italian with English subtitles

The Sign of Venus

Sophia Loren had an early triumph as Agnese, a woman born under the titular sign, making her the effortless object of male desire in her town. Meanwhile, her typist cousin Cesira (Franca Valeri) earnestly pines for a husband, but cannot compete with Agnese’s charms. Before directing international hits Il sorpasso and Profumo di donna (the basis for Scent of a Woman), Dino Risi honed his expertise at humanist comedy with serious overtones on The Sign of Venus, which competed for the Palme d’Or at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival. Featuring Raf Vallone (who starred in Loren’s Oscar-winning Two Women) and Vittorio De Sica in a colorful role as a panhandling poet. 2K DCP by Cinecittà.
Sunday, June 9 at 3:15pm
Tuesday, June 11 at 1:15pm

Two Women / La Ciociara
Vittorio De Sica, 1960, Italy, 100m
Italian with English subtitles

Two Women

Adapted from Alberto Moravia’s novel of the same name, Vittorio De Sica’s heartbreaking story of a mother and daughter during World War II earned Sophia Loren a Best Actress Oscar, the first for a performer in a foreign-language film. Widow Cesira (Loren) and her daughter Rosetta (Eleanora Brown) leave Rome for the relative safety of Cesira’s hometown in the countryside. There, they befriend Michele (Jean-Paul Belmondo), an affable Marxist who resists the Fascists around him, waiting out the conflict. After Allied forces take Italy, mother and daughter follow them on their march toward Rome—but a violent, traumatic event forever changes their relationship. 4K digital restoration by Titanus.
Friday, June 7 at 8:30pm – Introduction by Edoardo Ponti
Monday, June 10 at 6:00pm

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow / Ieri, oggi, domani
Vittorio De Sica, 1963, Italy/France, 119m
Italian with English subtitles

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Loren + Mastroianni x 3: the duo light up this breezy triptych of tales about love, sex, and class. In the first, Marcello Mastroianni is the harried husband of a sexually voracious Sophia Loren, who’s staying pregnant to stay out of prison; in the second, they’re a pair of sophisticates tooling through Milan in a Rolls-Royce; and in the third, he’s the gotta-have-it client whose trysts with her high-priced prostitute are constantly thwarted (Loren’s sultry striptease is justly famous, and Mastroianni’s wolf-howls of delight put the scene over the top). Vittorio De Sica’s Oscar-winning charmer deftly combines naughty bedroom comedy with neorealist social commentary. 4K digital restoration by Cineteca di Bologna and The Film Foundation.
Saturday, June 8 at 1:00pm
Monday, June 10 at 8:15pm

Marriage Italian Style / Matrimonio all’italiana
Vittorio De Sica, 1964, Italy/France, 102m
Italian with English subtitles

Marriage Italian Style

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni cemented their status as one of the all-time-great screen couples in Vittorio De Sica’s classic battle-of-the-sexes farce. She’s Filumena, a rough-around-the-edges Neapolitan prostitute; he’s Domenico, a suave, bourgeois business owner. In flashback, their tempestuous 22-year relationship unfolds, right up to his impending marriage to another woman—but Filumena has other plans. Loren sizzles in an Oscar-nominated performance, while nobody plays the cad better than Mastroianni. Their chemistry propels a film that begins as a near-flawless boudoir comedy, only to develop into something disarmingly moving. 4K digital restoration by Cineteca di Bologna and Technicolor Foundation.
Saturday, June 8 at 3:30pm
Thursday, June 13 at 9:00pm

World Premiere of 4K Restoration
Stanley Donen, 1966, U.S., 104m


Gregory Peck stars as David Pollack, a visiting professor of ancient languages at the University of Oxford, whose academic quietude is upended when he’s pulled into a conspiracy surrounding a prominent Middle Eastern politician, a shipping magnate named Beshraavi (Alan Badel), and his uncommonly gorgeous and mysterious girlfriend Yasmin Azir (Sophia Loren, decked out in Dior and 20 different pairs of shoes), who may or may not be on Pollack’s side…. Originally meant as a Charade follow-up for Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, Arabesque is something like The Family Plot by way of Richard Lester: a deliriously mod comic-thriller (lensed in vibrant Technicolor by the great Christopher Challis) that follows Peck and Loren zipping around London to Henry Mancini’s exotica-tinged score, and remains one of the finest—if manic—examples of Donen’s unmatched knack for tightly choreographed filmmaking. New 4K restoration courtesy of Universal Studios.
Tuesday, June 11 at 6:00pm

More Than a Miracle / C’era una volta
Francesco Rosi, 1967, Italy/France, 104m
Italian with English subtitles

More Than a Miracle

It’s Cinderella Italian Style: Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif play peasant and prince in this sumptuously shot, oddball fairy tale from Francesco Rosi. It’s the 17th century, Italy is under Spanish rule, and its hot-headed Prince Rodrigo (Sharif)—in leather pants and open shirt—flees his family under their pressure to choose a wife among a coterie of Italian princesses. While on the lam he meets a flying monk(!) who tells him the same thing: specifically, that he marry the next woman who prepares him seven dumplings…. Enter the formidably temperamental Isabella (Loren), looking nothing less than regal despite her raggy clothes. What follows is a most unusual love-hate courtship unfolding in vignette style and featuring everything from consorting witches, a frenzied dishwashing contest, and Loren rolling away to sea trapped inside a barrel, all set to an inspired score from Piero Piccioni. 2K DCP by Cinecittà.
Sunday, June 9 at 5:45pm
Tuesday, June 11 at 3:30pm
Wednesday, June 12 at 3:45pm

New York Premiere of 4K Restoration
A Countess From Hong Kong
Charlie Chaplin, 1967, U.K., 108m

A Countess From Hong Kong

Charlie Chaplin’s underappreciated final film (his only in color) finds Sophia Loren as its titular character: Natascha, a passport-less Russian refugee in Hong Kong who escapes prostitution by sneaking into an American diplomat’s (Marlon Brando) ship cabin. Sailing back to the United States following a world tour (and perhaps to divorce his wife), he reluctantly helps secret her to the States despite the stressfully close quarters. Directed with supreme control and restraint by one of cinema’s most expressive comic-romantics, and punctuated by moments of unparalleled slapstick, this quiet chamber comedy is also a moving personal reflection of Chaplin’s own exile and public image. “Few reviewers have bothered to observe that Chaplin’s role is being played by Sophia Loren, the tramp with oversized men’s pajamas and a heart of gold,” Andrew Sarris said upon its release, adding the film was “…the quintessence of everything Chaplin has ever felt.” New 4K restoration courtesy of Universal Studios.
Wednesday, June 12 at 6:00pm

The Voyage / Il Viaggio
Vittorio De Sica, 1974, Italy/France, 102m
Italian with English subtitles

The Voyage

In Vittorio De Sica’s adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s novella, an elegantly restrained melodrama set in Sicily just before the onset of World War I, Sophia Loren sheds her movie-star glamor in one of her most wrenching performances. She stars as a seamstress who falls ill not long after her husband dies in a freak car accident, and comes under the care of her late husband’s brother (Richard Burton)—her (not so) former lover. Bathed in soft focus and adorned with rich period detail, De Sica’s final film vividly entwines a provocative shuffling of ideas—on class, sex, war, and the slippery connections between love and guilt—and carries an air of ponderous melancholy throughout thanks to Loren’s and Burton’s magnificent performances. 2K DCP by Cinecittà.
Sunday, June 9 at 8:00pm
Wednesday, June 12 at 1:30pm
Thursday, June 13 at 3:45pm

A Special Day / Una giornata particolare
Ettore Scola, 1977, Italy, 106m
Italian with English subtitles

A Special Day

May 8, 1938. All of Rome is turning out to see the spectacle of Hitler’s visit to Italy. Among the few not attending are a harried housewife and mother of six (Sophia Loren) and her across-the-way neighbor (Marcello Mastroianni, Oscar-nominated), a suicidal former radio announcer. She’s a conservative Mussolini supporter; he’s a enemy of the state. But after a chance meeting, the two share a life-changing day that will challenge their assumptions about people, politics, and sexuality. Gorgeously photographed in creamy sepia tones and driven by two virtuoso central performances, this tender, daring chamber drama’s look at the human cost of Fascism is more relevant than ever. 4K digital restoration by CSC – Cineteca Nazionale.
Saturday, June 8 at 8:00pm
Tuesday, June 11 at 8:15pm

Ready to Wear / Prêt-à-Porter
Robert Altman, 1994, U.S., 35mm, 133m
English, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish with English subtitles

Ready to Wear

Robert Altman’s underrated, deliciously catty fashion industry satire zigzags, in inimitable Altman style, between the swarms of reporters, designers, models, power players, and oddballs buzzing around Paris Fashion Week. After the Fashion Council head (Jean-Pierre Cassel) chokes to death on a sandwich, he leaves behind his all-too glamorous widow, played by Sophia Loren, who settles in as the figurehead of the week’s events (and at one point recreates a certain iconic striptease). She’s just one among a sprawling cast of international luminaries that includes Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Kim Basinger, Lauren Bacall, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, and Forest Whitaker. With its of-the-moment fashions, zeitgeisty celebrity cameos, and soundtrack that skips from Salt-N-Pepa to Björk to The Cranberries, it plays like a Nashville for the ’90s. 35mm print courtesy of the Harvard Film Archive.
Monday, June 10 at 3:15pm
Thursday, June 13 at 6:00pm

The Life Ahead / La vita davanti a sé
Edoardo Ponti, 2020, Italy, 96m
Italian with English subtitles

The Life Ahead

Sophia Loren delivers a towering performance in her son Edoardo Ponti’s 2020 adaptation of the novel Madame Rosa, which embodies the range, intelligence, and innate charisma of the legendary actress. Previously adapted in 1977 by Moshé Mizrahi, with Simone Signoret in the lead role, Ponti moves Romain Gary’s novel to Bari, Italy, where a Holocaust survivor turned children’s caretaker (Loren) forms an unlikely friendship with a bitter street kid (a spectacular Ibrahim Gueye) after he robs her. By turns tender and haunted, the storied role of Rosa is imbued here with the unmistakable wisdom of a seasoned performer, who subtly nods to her own illustrious on-screen persona with subtlety and grace.
Friday, June 7 at 6:00pm – Q&A with Edoardo Ponti
Monday, June 10 at 1:00pm