Sophia Loren turns 83: A look at her 5 career-defining films

Hindustan Times | ByRanjan Das Gupta, New Delhi
Sep 21, 2017 02:49 PM IST

Hollywood star Sophia Loren turned 83 on September 20. Here’s looking at some of her most memorable performances in films.

Though she’s one of the greatest movie icons of all time, Sophia Loren has always had a kind of humility when talking about herself.

Actor Sophia Loren won an Oscar in 1962 for her role as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica’s classic film, Two Women.
Actor Sophia Loren won an Oscar in 1962 for her role as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica’s classic film, Two Women.

“My acting career is eventful enough. But I never consider myself a great actress. I will never repent I did not receive histrionic opportunities. I did my best experimenting with whatever I received,” she has said about herself. As the legend turns 83, she is content with what she received — that includes an Oscar in 1962 for her role as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica’s classic film, Two Women.

About her husband Carlo Ponti, she says, “Carlo was a big influence in my life and helped a lot to shape my career.” Here is a look at five of her memorable films.

More Than A Miracle (1967)

Italian high priest of parallel cinema Francesco Rosi paired Sophia Loren with the charismatic Omar Sharif in this evergreen film. Knowing well that Sharif’s glittering eyes stole every show, Loren used a zigzag eye language earlier unknown to world cinema. Matching every nuance of Sharif’s performance, Loren mingled tears and laughter commendably.

Houseboat (1958)

This romantic saga saw the debonair Cary Grant share screen space with a vibrant, youthful Sophia Loren. A mature romantic story, the film had some brilliant love scenes between the two. Loren infused her character with emotional intensity, but was subtle with it, using her eyes to best effect. Houseboat won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Two Women (1960)

Sophia Loren shared the best rapport with Vittorio De Sica. The Italian writerdirector, considered the flagbearer of neo-realism, created celluloid magic with Loren in Two Women. She played an alluring woman with a teenage daughter, both brutally raped in this WWII movie. Loren’s emoting won her an Oscar.

Sunflower (1970)

Along with her favourite actor Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren gave the performance of a lifetime in Sunflower. This awardwinning film by Vittorio De Sica was definitely not of the same standard as Two Women, but Loren and Mastroianni made up for the lacunae in the script. Loren’s measured body language remains a lesson in acting.

The Voyage (1974)

This social drama was a Vittorio De Sica classic. Paired with the inimitable Richard Burton, Loren’s performance was so brilliant that Burton called her a “sea of emotions”. She played a woman brought back by fate to the man she loved. Their chemistry was so searing that it’s rumoured Burton’s then wife, actor Elizabeth Taylor, felt jealous.

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