Maria Pia Casili1

1. – Giulietta Masina, La strada, Italy, 1954. La strada?” said Federico Fellini’s Villetoni producer Lorenzi Pegoraro. “Perhaps… but not with Giulietta Masina.” And he had Fellini test Casilio, one of the joys of Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D. But Federico had not spent two years honing the scenario (with his then usual partner, Tuilio Pinelli) for anyone other than his wife. “Get another actress – then get another director!” Instead, he found new producers Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti. And although Dino wanted his wife, the decidely un-waifish Silvana Mangano, as Gelsomina, Fellini stood firm and became the first winner of an Oscar for a foreign language film. The reason why Dino and Carlo produced 325 films between them while poor Pegoraro made… seven.

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