Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 10th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, December 19th, 1963
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Writers: Billa Billa, Eduardo De Filippo, Isabella Quarantotti, Cesare Zavattini
Cast: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni
BluRay released: August 21st, 2017
Approximate running times: 119 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono Italian, LPCM Mono Englsih
BluRay Release: Cult Films
Region Coding: Region B (UK)
Retail Price: £19.99 (UK)
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is a trio of stories that all feature Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1964 this film would take home the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Director Vittorio De Sica frequently cast Loren and Mastroianni in many of his films including three films a trio of films in which they would star together. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is a more light hearted affair then you typical Vittorio De Sica film.
Segment #1 ‘Adelina’
Carmine Sbaratti (Marcello Mastroianni) owes back taxes. The tax man arrives to collect his possessions to pay for the debt only to walk into an empty house. Carmine and his friends hide the contents of the house before the tax man arrived and not it appears that their little game of deception could land his wife Adelina Sbaratti (Sophia Loren) in jail. Carmine is unemployed and hasn’t worked in a while. Adelina sells cigarettes on the black market and is the families on hope for income. They soon learn of a way to keep Adelina out of jail all she has to do is remain pregnant and she won’t have to go to jail.
This first segment Adelina is the longest of the three segments. The performances of the two leads and the whimsical nature of this tale add to its broad comedic canvas. The premise is simple every time Adelina gives she must then get pregnant right away to avoid jail. By the time the couple gets to their seventh child he is worn out mentally and physically. Vittorio De Sica direction along with the films use of natural locations adds to the films realistic look.
Segment #2 ‘Anna’
Anna Molteni (Sophia Loren) is having an affair with Renzo (Marcello Mastroianni). She is the wife of a rich businessman and he is a poor writer. They meet one morning at a discreet location before going on a road trip together. Things start to go wrong after Renzo crashes Anna’s Mercedes into a tractor. This leads to them bickering which ends up pushing them farther apart.
Anna is the shortest of the three segments. Most of the action takes place in the Mercedes. These shots inside and around the car are beautifully composed and add to the films building tension. Overall I found the two lead characters in this story be too one dimensional and inaccessible.
Segment #3 ‘Mara’
Mara (Sophia Loren) is a prostitute who lives next door to a young man who is about to enter the priest hood. Augusto Rusconi (Marcello Mastroianni) is one of Mara’s clients who is infatuated with her and he has just arrived in town on business. Things start to unravel when Mara befriends Umberto the young man who wants to be a priest. In order to correct the damage she has caused Mara promises god (via prayer) not to have sex for a week if he helps her convince Umberto that the priesthood is his calling. While all of this is happening Augusto Rusconi has spent the last two days getting all hot and bothered by Mara’s teasing with no relief in sight.
The final segment Mara is best of the three included for this anthology. In this segment we get to see Sophia Loren at her best as she seduces men with her undeniable charm. Marcello Mastroianni gives one of his most physical performances since Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ as he shows his mastery of slap stick comedy. My favorite moment in the segment is shortly after we are introduced to Mastroianni’s character and he tells Loren’s character to put on a school girl’s outfit because it reminds him of his niece. From this moment on he has cemented his characters motivations and desires. The relationship between Mara and the young man who wants to become a priest is playful at best and it never verges on vulgar. This final segment also features Sophia Loren’s infamous strip tease. I can only imagine the furor it caused back then since it is as sensual as ever with Loren looks drop dead gorgeous.
Overall If you are a fan of comedy laced with sexual innuendos that has an Italian flavor to it, I recommend you check out Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used is in very good shape. There are no problems with compression, colors look vibrant, flesh tones look accurate, details are crisp, black and contrast levels remain strong throughout. When compared to previous home video releases, this releases transfer is easily the best this film has looked to date on home video.
This release comes with two audio options, a LPCM mono mix in Italian and a LPCM mono mix in English. Both audio mixes are in very good shape. There are no issues with distortion or background noise, dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, a documentary titled Sophia Loren: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (54 minutes 3 seconds, in Italian / English with English subtitles) and a documentary about Vittorio De Sica titled Vittorio D (95 minutes 16 seconds, in Italian / English with English subtitles).
Topics discussed in the extra titled Sophia Loren: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow include, The Gold of Naples, Two Women, Boccaccio ’70, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian Style, Cinderella: Italian Style, A Special Day, Vittorio De Sica, Carlo Ponti and Marcello Mastroianni. Besides comments from Sophia Loren and other who discuss her legacy. This extra also features several vintage news reel footage of Sophia Loren.
Content wise, Vittorio D does a superb job not only covering the various stages of Vittorio De Sica’s career as an actor and director, but also who he was outside of the film industry.
Overall Marriage Italian Style gets a strong release from Cult Films.
Note: Cult Films are also releasing this film on DVD.