Two of Italy's greatest film stars, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, are united in this special film about two special people. The day is May 8, 1939, the day of a huge rally celebrating Hitler's visit to Rome which... more » underscored the infamous allianc« less
"Horrible bootleg version of wonderful film. Why do these people continue to release sub par video. Avoid Televista or Jef Video or Newstar"
A Special Day
Z. Arevshatian | USA | 12/11/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"DO NOT waste money on this item. This is a transfer made directly from a videotape. The quality is very poor. The image is soft and its colors bleed. Contrary to the item's description for the DVD as having subtitles, the DVD has an English voice over dubbed on top of the Italian soundtrack which makes it extremely annoying to listen to. The DVD is not subtitled."
Erhan Kayaalp | Istanbul, Turkey | 10/21/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The recording quality is so low that it seems as if it was transferred from an ordinary VHS and dubbed in English. Even the original soundtrack is not avaliable! It's an awful edition, which only leaves me feeling that I have I thrown away my money."
A 5 star movie but a 1 star dvd
Jonathan Lapin | Brooklyn, NY USA | 05/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"the history is only a background in this film casting sophia loren & marcello mastroianni as a depressed middle aged housewife and a depressed middle aged gay man thrown together in rome on the day when hitler pays an official state visit to mussolini. this is a great movie, but i cant recommend it to anyone who did not see it in its theatrical release. why? because this dvd is of a horrid print dubbed into english! no actor of such import has been as badly served in the dvd market as has sophia loren, several of whose greatest movies ("two women", "yesterday today & tomorrow", "el cid", this) are available only on dreadful transfers. PLEASE somebody get decent transfers made; "a special day" deserves to get 5 stars, but not til its viewable. "
But what if rather than his BEING homosexual, a jealous co=w
C. Scanlon | among us humans | 12/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The USA in the Sixties had grown used to light comedies pushing the cultural envelopes from Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, such as the truly groundbreaking and censor harrassing Yesterday Today and Tomorrow in 1964. We grew used to a virile though conflictive clown Marcello and the show stopping Loren regal in her beauty and powerful character. The subtext of these films carried equally controversial social import most viewers missed while ogling Sophia closely, subtexts regarding sexual and class equality and justice (in fact Sophia in her strength of character might have been mid-wife of our own feminist movement), but this pleased the academic critics in intellectual publications who found much fodder to feed upon. Also of course Mr. Woody Allen, who was deeply inspired.
And then this came along. Ponti refused to keep to the old formula of light sex comedies with a message. Ponti might have continued that lucrative industry forever as Rock Hudson and Doris Day had done ad nauseum. Instead in 1977 we got this, and I remember the stunned silence which it received.
Sophia without make up and without mascara in a simple loose ankle length house dress. Marcello not on the make. Sophia not queen of the universe, but its slave, despite the opening shots of her wandering regally the family apartment crowded with sleeping children as in the first episode of Yesterday (1964), as she tastes espresso which goes to her dominating and unloving fascist husband. It quickly becomes clear she rules no one, not even her pet parrot, which true and significantly for this antifascist film is a blackbird like a mynnah, black as the fascist uniforms the entire family wears. Making this parrot into a fascist in black was genius and not to be missed.
Our public was not ready to see the adored Ms. Loren in this way. And then came the topic of the homosexuality.
I ask you to take another look at this film, with the perspective that Marcello's character is not in fact homosexual but was only accused of it by others who wanted his job as a radio announcer. How often have we here in fascist America seen careers ruined by such charges, or of political charges of communism as in Good Night and Good Luck; the same might have happened to Marcello's character. Please view the film in this light and see if it hangs together.
Obviously Marcello's character is a consummate entertainer who cannot stop entertaining charmingly and performing hilariously throughout. This was Marcello's strongest and most complex role in the entire Loren/Mastroianni opus. His character, with this extraordinary capacity to entertain even in disgrace, must have been a very popular radio figure, and thus targetted for removal because he was not a member of the party. Think FoxNews rather than fascist for a second. The only way to remove such a talented entertainer was to accuse him of what was then called depravity and perversion. He adds pederasty to the list of accusations, shouting down the staircase. I believe that this was the point being made - that under fascism a person can be accused of such things in order only to get them out of their jobs and replace them with a less talented party loyalist ready to PARROT the party line, as the radio announcer does with banal and boring cliches throughout the film in commenting on the martial parade outside.
Even so did we have MacArthyism falsely accusing people of communism as a lethal offense in the fifties - see Goodnight and Good Luck and the great Zero Mostel and Herschel Bernardi in The Front - and now media monopolies demanding the proper parroting or find another job.
Even at the end, when we see Marcello Mastroianni's character escorted by two silent and patient figures straight out of the beginning and end of Kafka's The Trial, his character is entertaining, is performing, is playing a person who with great charm and calm is packing up very peacefully to be led politely and casually to his death. And Loren's character watches without any capacity to react or take over as we learned to expect of Loren in her past films which she dominated like a natural force. Here she can merely watch, but we know she has grown deeply inside, passed a catharsis, from being just another mindless Il Duce worshipper to questioning, very deeply, the fascist society and its claims. I pray her character emerges from the ruins of the Second World War, more ready to adjust than most. I pray that we Americans might also wake up, turn off the television and see what we have done.
A very modern film, and modernist, especially in its lack of a clear and happy resolution, a film we the American public still are not ready for but whose issues and questions we need to face now more than ever. We will not soon see a film such as this again.
An infinite galaxies of stars. I must admit I have a Spanish subtitled version found in a Mexican supermarket discount bin, of excellent quality and translation, but cannot guarantee the accuracy of this English translation nor the quality of compression. "