Vittorio De Sica – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963)


Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), winner of the 1965 Oscar for Best Foreign Film, is a trio of stories directed by Vittorio De Sica in the omnibus fashion so popular at the time (just the year prior, he had contributed to the similarly structured Boccaccio ‘70, alongside Federico Fellini, Mario Monicelli, and Luchino Visconti). Spearheaded by international super-producer Carlo Ponti—helping to ensure global distribution and award-worthy prestige—the film is, first and foremost, a collaborative compendium of what partially defined the popular perception of its versatile director and its two leads, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. … Here, an exuberant Loren plays Adelina Sbaratti, a boisterous young woman who illegally hawks cigarettes on the street. Facing financial punishment and jail time for her unlawful transactions, she stumbles upon a legal exemption for pregnant women. Apparently, the powers that be cannot arrest one with child until six months after delivery. The epiphany of sovereignty through sustained offspring—which sets up a humorous conceit that may or may not have any grounding in actual law—means Adelina and her initially acquiescent husband, Carmine (Mastroianni), must keep up the child-rearing for as long as it takes. ‘Children are a wonderful thing,’ says family friend Pasquale (Aldo Giuffrè), who is soon primed to make a move on the perpetual mother-to-be. As it turns out, they are also valuable in a pinch. Carmine first appears with a carefree, confident charm, a characterization ideal for Mastroianni’s gifts as a self-assured leading man. Soon, however, this wise-guy grows weary from the ever-increasing litter of boys and girls (and the exertion it takes to make them), ultimately retreating to his mother’s equally chaotic residence in order to get some rest. Everything so far is played for unequivocal laughs, though concern creeps into the picture (in a still comical fashion) when the ceaseless reproduction becomes overwhelming for the exhausted father. He recognizes the benefits of the increasing brood, and surely ‘the will is there,’ but their reproductive luck eventually runs out. …”
MUBI – De Sica and His Dynamic Duo Do What They Do Best: Close-Up on “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”
W – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
YouTube: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963) – Trailer

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