Aida
by Clemente Fracassi





FOREIGN TITLES & RELEASE DATES

Italy - October 23, 1953 - Aida - 99'
USA (New York City, Little Carnegie Theater) - November 11, 1954 - Aida - 95'
West Germany - May 22, 1956 - Aida - 96'
East Germany - December 14, 1956 - Aida - 96'
Spain (Madrid, Cine Callao) - January 21, 1957 - Aida - 93' (attendance: 4,489)
Sweden - February 10, 1958 - Aida -
France (Paris) - December 19, 1984 - Aïda - 100'



German poster American poster American poster Spanish poster


PLOT

Young Radames is met by a triumphant reception following his victory over the Ethiopians. His victory allows him to obtain Aida’s freedom from Pharaoh, and also that of her father. Aida is a beautiful slave girl whom Radames is in love with, while her father, Amonasro, is actually the king of the Ethiopians. Forced to do so by her father, Aida persuades Radames to reveal the secret of the Egyptian army’s future strategy. Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris, who is secretly in love with Radames, intervenes and through her Radames discovers the set-up and gives himself up, admitting his betrayal. He is condemned to being buried alive; Aida conceals herself in the tomb and dies with him. (Enrico Lancia)
Story from the opera of the same name by Giuseppe Verdi based on the libretto of Antonio Ghislanzoni.


FILMING LOCATIONS


Scalera Studios, Rome (Italy)

 

Filming dates: February - March 1953


MAIN CAST


Sophia Loren (Aida) - voice of Renata Tebaldi

Lois Maxwell (Amneris) - voice of Ebe Stignani
Luciano Della Marra (Radames) - voice of Giuseppe Campora

Antonio Cassinelli (Ramphis) - voice of Giulio Neri

Afro Poli (Amonasro) - voice of Gino Bechi



CREDITS

Photography (Ferraniacolor):
Piero Portalupi

Costume design:
Maria De Matteis
Makeup Artist:
Goffredo Rocchetti
Hair Stylist:
Mara Rocchetti
Music:
Giuseppe Verdi, conducted by Renzo Rossellini
Choreography:
Margarete Wallmann
Narrator:
Guido Pannain
Production supervisor:
Gregor Rabinovich - Production: Oscar Films

NOTES

Sophia receives top billing for the second time with Aida.

The role of Aida was originally intended for Gina Lollobrigida who refused it because her singing would be dubbed. It is the first time that Sophia's career crosses paths with that of Lollobrigida, who will be her main rival througout the 1950's.

Sophia gives all her earnings from the movie to her father for his consent to give his name to her sister Maria.

In 1955, India's censors snip the equivalent of 13 minutes of the film from scenes showing Sophia because of overexposure of her charms.

Aida receives excellent reviews from "The New York Times" and breaks the box-office record in its first week at the Little Carnegie Playhouse and goes on to run for several months.


QUOTES AND REVIEWS 

“Director Clemente Fracassi gets a bit carried away with epic splendor and the opulent color format, but fans of Loren and opera novices should find the film rewarding. Despite Loren's lauded performance, the role of Aida was originally intended for Gina Lollobrigida.”
Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide.

“Sophia Loren, the handsome girl who plays the dark-skinned and regal Aida, might just as well be singing the glorious airs that actually come from the throat of Renata Tebaldi and have been synchronised to her lip movements... The advantage is that a fine voice is set to a stunning form and face, which is most gratifying  (and unusual) in the operatic realm.”
Bosley Crowther, New York Times, 12 nov 1954

“In the film, Sophia sports a heavy tan, intended to suggest outdoor labor, wildness, and Mediterranean exoticism; it is a look that works
with the part.”
Deirdre Donohue, Sophia Style.

“I nearly froze to death. The scenes were supposed to be in sultry Egypt, but the filming took place in winter in an unheated studio. To dispel the clouds of steam coming from my mouth whenever I opened it, a makeup man kept a hair dryer pointed at my lips.”
Sophia Loren

“Sophia Loren gives a vital, thoroughly convincing portrayal of the Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, flexible in transition from mood to mood... Miss Loren and Poli particularly sustain remarkably the illustion of singing."
Clifford Gessler, Oakland Tribune, 7 jul 1955

“A joy to the eye and ear... Sophia Loren is a little bundle of frenzied passion."
Alton Cook, New York-World Telegram and Sun, Oakland Tribune, 24 apr 1955




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