“You think I’m a slave to sex, but I have a soul, too — remember that.”
In this trio of comedic vignettes by director Vittorio de Sica, a black market cigarette seller in Naples (Sophia Loren) becomes pregnant by her harried husband (Marcello Mastroianni) each time the law comes to get her; a self-absorbed socialite (Loren) goes for a drive with a man (Mastroianni) she met at a party the night before; and a lusty call girl (Loren) with an insistent suitor (Mastroianni) tries to convince a naive seminary student (Gianni Ridolfi) to stick with his calling rather than fall for her.
- Episodic Films
- Italian Films
- Marcello Mastroianni Films
- Prostitutes and Gigolos
- Sophia Loren Films
- Vittorio de Sica Films
This episodic Italian sex comedy is primarily known today for two reasons: 1) as winner of 1963’s best foreign film Oscar, and 2) for Sophia Loren’s justifiably famous strip tease in front of Marcello Mastroianni’s howling suitor. As in any episodic film, some parts are inevitably better than others — the middle story here (“Anna of Milan”, at only 20 minutes) is widely regarded as the weakest, given that the storyline (such as it is) takes place exclusively during one car trip, and little to no character development occurs. The longer stories bookending the film — “Adelina of Naples” and “Mara of Rome” — offer a bit more comedic substance, and come across as innocuously enjoyable sketches. While “Adelina” offers a glimpse of de Sica’s erstwhile interest in social humanism (hard-working Adelina and her perpetually out-of-work husband continually flout authority — with our approval), for the most part Yesterday… remains “de Sica lite”, buoyed by its undeniable star power (Loren and Mastroianni are both in peak form) and by a liberal dose of cinematic escapism.
Note While some have argued that Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow was just as much of a sexual tease for early-1960s audiences as its Doris Day counterparts in America, this isn’t quite true, given that sex-outside-of-marriage is paraded in all three vignettes as both normal and natural — except by characters (such as Ridolfi’s melodramatic grandmother, played by Tina Pica) who are clearly presented as shrewish and moralistically uptight.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Sophia Loren’s charismatic performances in all three vignettes — it’s easy to see why she was such an international superstar at the time
- Marcello Mastroianni as Loren’s three lovers
- Loren’s infamous strip-tease in front of Mastroianni’s howling john
- Armando Trovajoli’s musical score
Yes, simply for its status as 1963’s best foreign film Oscar, and for Loren’s iconic strip-tease act.