ROME — The Cineteca of Bologna has found in its archives the only known copy of the late Italian comic Alberto Sordi’s 1953 film “Lo Scocciatore” (The Nuisance).
Pic, directed by Giorgio Bianchi, was originally released under the title “Via Padova 46” (46 Padova Street) in 1951. A flop, it was probably released shortly before “I Vitelloni,” the film that created the Sordi myth, according to Cineteca director Gianluca Farinelli.
“Via” was then re-edited and re-released as “Lo Scocciatore” in 1953 to spotlight Sordi’s role. Film, co-starring Giulietta Masina and Peppino dei Filippo, concerns a middle-aged man suspected of murdering a prostitute.
Rights for “Lo Scocciatore” are held by the heirs of producer Vincenzo Marzi. Film’s discovery was announced by Ripley’s Film, the distrib company that works for Marzi’s heirs.
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“In the past it was normal for films to get lost. After a picture was shown in the cinemas, it didn’t hold commercial value like in today’s market with DVD and homevideos. This film was in our archive because it was donated to us along with other 1,500 titles so we had to go back and find it,” Farinelli said Wednesday.
Cineteca and Ripley’s Film will restore the print but will show the untouched original at the Cinema Ritrovato (Rediscovered Cinema) festival unspooling in Bologna this weekend.
Sordi, considered Italy’s comic genius and voice of the people, died in February. Half a million Romans flocked to his public wake at the Capitoline Hill. Sordi was recently honored with a special Nastro D’Argento (Silver Ribbon) Award at Italy’s Taormina Film Festival.