Totò, Miseria, Nobiltà e Malafemmena

Unified Italy is brought together by few things: No doubt spaghetti are one of such things. Second comes only (at least in baby boomers and the like) the genius comic mime Totò,

Poverty and Nobility

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the illustrious, improvisation and laughter master of the 50’s and 60’s. Directed by many (Mattoli, Monicelli, and even Pasolini), he is absolutely adored throughout the peninsula. Here, one of his most famous scenes, full of all his mimic capacity, and self-irony: enjoy it from the film Miseria e Nobiltà (Poverty & Nobility), 1954, directed by Mario Mattoli.

But few know he also composed some exquisite music. Thus, the third thing uniting Italians, namely music (Neapolitan music) comes forward with this gorgeous song written by him and performed by everybody from Pavarotti to this beautiful, Italian-Brazilian singer, Zizi Possi: Malafemmena (Bad woman).

How gorgeous was that old Italy, poor and noble!

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About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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2 Responses to Totò, Miseria, Nobiltà e Malafemmena

  1. Antonio Vantaggiato says:

    Yeah, he was such a genius! So The gold of Naples inspired you for the #ds106radio gig in NYC, eh! And talking about your collection (salivating…) you're going to share that, aren't you?! Silvana Mangano, omg! Know something? I had Mario Mattoli as neighbor for a lot of years, but I was so snob, when I was 18 I only watched “art films”, so I almost never talked to him, until it was too late… what an ass. Still… I got a nice naive painting from him.

  2. Jim Groom says:

    Italy was rich as kings when it came to comic genius, and Totò was a genius.  Anto and I got the full collection from the Corriere promotion recently that gave one of his DVDs a week over the course of a year. her father collected them all for us and sent them out way, which means I have just about every Totò film. I sat down to watch The Gold of Naples on the way to NYC this week, and I think it is an amazing film—what's more it starts with one of Totò's genius performances. But then captures the young beauty of Sophia Lauren, the allure of Silvana Mangano and the baby funeral in the streets of Naples? Gold indeed.

    I love Totò, and I love you for reminding us that Totò knew there could be nobility in poverty if good pasta was still to be had 😉

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