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The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Friday, January 21, 2000
Too Bad She's Bad
Alessandro Blasetti Italy, 1955

(Peccato che sia una canaglia). The first of Sophia Loren's enormously popular comedies of the fifties, Too Bad She's Bad is based on a story by Alberto Moravia. Its humor and its charm thrive on a kind of down-to-earth devilishness that makes us identify with the amoral practicality of two thieving scamps over the more honest, common sense cab driver who becomes caught in their web-and under their spell. Vittorio De Sica plays a veteran purse-snatcher nearing retirement age who lends a benevolent eye, and sometimes a helping hand, to daughter Loren's adventures in thievery. Marcello Mastroianni is the harried hack who keeps coming back for more, against his better judgment. This fast-paced lark keeps up with the pace of its splendid location backdrop, Rome. Director Alessandro Blasetti was an eclectic and prolific filmmaker whose career spanned some four decades.

• Written by Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Sandro Continenza, Ennio Flaiano, from a story by Alberto Moravia. Photographed by Aldo Giordani. With Vittorio De Sica, Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Umberto Melnati. (95 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm)