A Special Day

A Special Day

Film poster
Directed by Ettore Scola
Produced by Carlo Ponti
Written by Maurizio Costanzo
Ruggero Maccari
Ettore Scola
Starring Sophia Loren
Marcello Mastroianni
John Vernon
Music by Armando Trovajoli
Cinematography Pasqualino De Santis
Edited by Raimondo Crociani
Distributed by Surf Film
Release dates
  • 17 May 1977 (1977-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 12 August 1977 (1977-08-12) (Italy)
Running time
110 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

A Special Day (Italian: Una giornata particolare) is a 1977 Italian film directed by Ettore Scola and starring Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and John Vernon.[1] Set in Rome in 1938, its narrative follows a woman and her neighbor who stay home the day Adolf Hitler visits Benito Mussolini. It is an Italian-Canadian co-production.

The film received several nominations and awards, including a César Award for Best Foreign Film in 1978 and two Oscar nominations in 1977, and is featured on the list of the 100 Italian films to be saved.[2]


Gabriele (Mastroianni) and Antonietta (Loren) in her living room

On May 8, 1938, the day Hitler visited Mussolini in Rome, Antonietta, a naïve and sentimental homemaker, (Loren) stays home doing her usual domestic tasks, while her fascist husband (Vernon) and her six spoiled children take to the streets to follow a parade. The building is empty except for a neighbor across the complex: (Mastroianni), a charming man named Gabriele. He is a radio broadcaster who has been dismissed from his job and is about to be deported to Sardinia because of his anti-fascist stance and homosexuality. They meet by chance and begin to talk. Antonietta is surprised by his opinions and, unaware of his sexual orientation, flirts with him.

Despite their differences, they warm to each other. Antonietta confides in him her troubles with her arrogant and unfaithful husband, and eventually they have sex. Soon after, Gabriele is arrested and Antonietta's family comes back home. At the end, Antonietta sits near the window and starts reading a book Gabriele has given to her (The Three Musketeers). She watches as her lover leaves the complex, escorted by fascist policemen; before turning off the light and retiring to bed, where her husband is waiting for her in order to beget their seventh child.[3][4]


Special scenes

A number of unusual cinematic techniques are used in this film. A long take scene introduces Antonietta and her family: the camera enters through the kitchen window and moves into the rooms. Deep focus is utilized in a scene in which the camera is in Antonietta's room with her in the frame, and through a distant window Gabriele can simultaneously be seen moving in his house in the same frame.


See also


  1. "NY Times: A Special Day". NY Times.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  2. "'Ecco i cento film italiani da salvare' e su tutti vincono Fellini e Visconti" (in Italian). la Repubblica. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  3. Review - A Special Day Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Channel 4.
  4. A Special Day Archived June 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. "The 35th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1978). List of winners and nominees". The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
  6. "The 50th Academy Awards (1978) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  7. "Una giornata particolare. Premi vinti" (in Italian). Accademia del Cinema Italiano.
  8. "Palmares 1978 - 3rd Cesar Award Ceremony". Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma.
  9. "Festival de Cannes. Official Selection 1977: In Competition". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2009-05-11.

External links

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