Itri In Films
The neorealist film “Non C’è Pace Tra Gli Ulivi”, “No Peace Under the Olive Trees” was released in 1950. It was filmed in the Itri, Fondi, Sperlonga area. It starred the actor Raf Vallone and actress Lucia Bosé and was directed by Giuseppe De Santis who was born in Fondi.
Some of the scenes of the film, “The Best of Enemies” or “I Due Nemici” were filmed along the road leading to the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Civita. This was an Italian and British co-production set during the World War II East African Campaign. It was directed by Guy Hamilton.
Also, in John Huston’s 1966 epic film “The Bible”, some scenes were shot in the countryside of the Magliana district of Itri.
The movie “La Ciociara” or the “Two Women“ (1960) stared Sophia Loren. This was also filmed in the town of Itri and the surrounding area including Fondi and Speronga. The director was Vittorio di Sica, who he himself was born in Fondi. Many of the local people of Itri took part in the form of extras in the filming.
The film was based on a book by Alberto Moravia who was sent to Campodimele near to Itri, during the Second World War. For his novel he took inspiration from his experiences here at the time of the German occupation. The 25 year old Sophia Loren plays the role of Cesira, a widowed mother of a teenage girl, Rosetta. They decide to flee from Rome to the countryside to escape the bombardment of the city. They find themselves in Ciociaria just as the Allies are about to finally breach the German Gustav Line. The Allies enlist the help of the French Expeditionary Corps who were troops skilled in mountain warfare. Overnight the Moroccan Goumier soldiers swarmed down from the mountains, taking the Germans totally unawares. The local towns and villages begin to be liberated as the Germans go into retreat. However the fierce Moroccans proceed to commit many terrible acts of extreme violence such as mass rape and murder. Both Cesira and her daughter are sexually violated.
For her performance Sophia Loren won an Academy Award For Best Actress, an Oscar. It was the first time that an actress had won an acting award for a non-