Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Romance, Comedy | 118 Mins | Released: 1963
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Starring: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Aldo Giuffrè, Agostino Salvietti, Lino Mattera, Tecla Scarano, Silvia Monelli
Our Rating: 8
Three different stories of Italian social mores are presented. In “Adelina”, unemployed Carmine Sbaratti and his wife Adelina Sbaratti survive through Adelina selling black market cigarettes on the street. They are unable to pay for the furniture they bought (which is under Adelina’s name), but are able to avoid the bailiff when he comes for the money or to repossess. They come up with a longer term solution to avoid Adelina being prosecuted for non-payment, but that solution has a profound effect on the family, especially Carmine. In “Anna”, Anna Molteni, the spoiled wife of a successful businessman, and an artist named Renzo are on the cusp of an affair. Anna is feeling neglected in the marriage, as her husband seems more concerned about success and money than her. But a car accident shows both Anna and Renzo if an affair with each other is really what they want. In “Mara”, Mara is a prostitute who works out of her apartment. She befriends Umberto, a young man visiting his grandparents who live in the adjacent apartment, the balconies of the two apartments which are adjoined. Umberto, a seminary student, seems to be attracted to Mara as a woman without really knowing what she does. Umberto’s grandmother, who knows what Mara does, believes Umberto’s seeming romantic infatuation with Mara will be his downfall. As Mara and Umberto’s grandmother ultimately join forces to get Umberto to do the right thing in life, Augusto Rusconi, one of Mara’s regular clients who is in town from Bologna, does whatever he can to get Umberto’s family issues out of the way so that he can get on with his own wants with Mara.
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Adelina of Naples
Set in the poorer Naples of 1953, Adelina (Loren) supports her unemployed husband Carmine (Mastroianni) and child by selling black market cigarettes. When she doesn’t pay a fine, her furniture is to be repossessed. However her neighbors assist her by hiding the furniture. A lawyer who lives in the neighborhood advises Carmine that as the fine and furniture is in Adelina’s name, she will be imprisoned. However, Italian law stipulates that women cannot be imprisoned when pregnant or within six months after a pregnancy. As a result, Adelina schemes to purposely stay pregnant. After seven children, Carmine is seriously exhausted and Adelina must make the choice of being impregnated by their mutual friend Pasquale (Aldo Giuffrè) or be incarcerated.
She finally chooses to be incarcerated, and the whole neighborhood gathers money to free her and petition for her pardon, which finally comes and she is reunited with her husband Carmine and the children.
Anna of Milan
Anna (Loren dressed by Christian Dior), the wife of a mega-rich industrialist, has a lover named Renzo (Mastroianni). Whilst driving together in her husband’s Rolls-Royce, Anna must determine which is the most important to her happiness – Renzo or the Rolls. Renzo rethinks his infatuation with Anna when she expresses no concern when they nearly run over a child, and end up crashing the Rolls-Royce.
She is infuriated by the damage to her Rolls-Royce, and ends up getting another passing driver to take her home, leaving Renzo on the road.
Mara of Rome
Mara (Loren) works as a prostitute from her apartment, servicing a variety of high class clients including Augusto (Mastroianni), the wealthy, powerful and neurotic son of a Bologna industrialist.
Mara’s elderly neighbour’s grandson visiting them is a handsome and callow young man studying for the priesthood but not yet ordained who falls in love with Mara. To the shrieking dismay of his grandmother, the young man wishes to leave the clergy to be with Mara or to join the French Foreign Legion if Mara rejects him. Mara vows to set the young man on the path of righteousness back to the seminary and enlists the reluctant Augusto. Mara provides a strip tease at the climax of the film.