WE, THE WOMEN (Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Luigi Zampa, Gianni Franciolini, Alfredo Guarini, 1953)

Called in the U.S. either We, the Women or Of Life and Love, Siamo donne is a composite film from Italy whose overall idea legendary screenwriter Cesare Zavattini originated. Each of four segments showcases a major star/actress; one tedious segment, with a labored postmodern spin, a starlet. The four “celebrities,” each ostensibly playing herself, are […]

SARATOGA TRUNK (Sam Wood, 1943, 1945)

Based on Edna Ferber’s novel, Saratoga Trunk reteamed Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman, again under Sam Wood’s direction, right after their triumphant success, in and out of sleeping bags, in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), during the making of which they became lovers. However, the second film’s release was delayed to maximize its profits—until […]

ANASTASIA (Anatole Litvak, 1956)

Despite its uncertain tone that unexpectedly resolves itself in comedy and romance, Anatole Litvak’s Anastasia touches on momentous subjects: historical ambiguities; the exploitation of these due to greed and the spirit of adventure; the problem of identity, including the eternal mystery of identity; however embroiled one is in history, an individual’s right to self-determination. However […]