The wonders of Italy and Sophia Loren are the objects of intimate attention in this breezy, non-cerebral, three-episoder. All three parts, separate entities save for the fact that they are set in Italy and co-star Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, have been directed with cinematic flair and invested with sensual gusto by Vittorio De Sica.
The first episode, Adelina, illustrates the method by which a Neopolitan black-marketeer evades imprisonment over a seven-year span. The law says pregnant women may not be arrested, so she sees to it. This creates an exhausted, mercy-begging husband.
Episode number two, Anna, is a brief interlude [from a short story by Alberto Moravia] describing the abrupt dissolution of an affair between a Milanese Rolls-Royceterer and her lover. Third item, Mara, is the flashiest but hokiest of the three. It explores the adventures in Rome of a lovable prostitute, a fanciful client and a confused young student priest. It amounts to an elaborately contrived excuse to get Loren into a bikini.
Rich production values dress up Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (a meaningless title), a reflection of the astute contributions of such men as photographer Giuseppe Rotunno and composer Armando Trovajoli.
1964: Best Foreign Language Film