04 Oct La Dolce Vita. 1950 – 1960. Stars and celebrities in the Italian 50s. Exhibition in Rome
Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali is showing an exhibition of featuring photographs of stars and celebrities in the Italian 1950s.
1959, Rome. Audrey Hepburn arriving at Ciampino. The English actress burst onto the cinema scene in 1952 with Roman holiday directed by William Wiler and, for this debut role was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress in 1954. From then on she remained an icon of style and glamour
1957, Rome. Kim Novak at a press conference at the Grand Hotel. Presented by the American majors as a counterpart to Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly, in the early fifties she starred alongside actors like Frank Sinatra, William Holden, Jack Lemmon, James Stewart. In 1958, she reached the peaks of stardom starring in Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock
1956, Rome. Sophia Loren at the opening of the III Rally del Cinema. The event, which started in 1953 and was organized by Ezio Radaelli, played its part in the construction of the star system bringing actors, actresses and directors right into the midst of crowds of adoring fans during the Motor Rally stops between Rome and Sanremo. The actress, co-winner with Alberto Sordi, had won the previous year’s edition.
1956, Rome. Brigitte Bardot at a press conference at the Grand Hotel. For the French actress, success came in 1956, with the release of the film Et Dieu…créa la femme (Piace a troppi, the original title in Italian) by the director Roger Vadim, her husband until 1957.
1962, Rome. Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon and, behind them, Paolo Stoppa. The stars of Il Gattopardo, directed by Luchino Visconti, Palma d’Oro at the Festival of Cannes in 1963 and based on the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, are caught in this photo in a moment of rare and timeless beauty
1959, Rome. Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd in Cinecittà during a working break on Ben-Hur. After working briefly with CBS television, in 1950 Charlton Heston made his cinema debut in The dark city directed by William Dieterle. He gained the international limelight in 1956 with his role of Moses in The ten commandments directed by Cecil B. De Mille. It was the forerunner of the success he went on to have with William Wiler’s Ben-Hur in 1960, for which he ook the Oscar for Best Actor. The English Stephen Boyd was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for the same film.
1959, Rome. Clark Gable was already a big movie star in 1935, with his Oscar for Best Actor for It happened one night directed by Frank Capra, and in 1939, for his role in Victor Fleming’s Gone with the wind. His glamour, charm and elegance gave him the role of the good-looking rascal in the history of cinema, so very much the part that it was reflected in his private life, with five marriages and countless affairs. The photo, captured at the presentation of It started in Naples directed by Melville Shavelson – his penultimate film where he co-stars with Sophia Loren and Vittorio De Sica – shows the perfect image of seduction and masculine elegance.
1959, Rome. Anita Ekberg with Shubert, the tailor of stars, at the Palazzo dei Congressi for the Maschera d’Argento awards. Before La dolce Vita, directed by Federico Fellini, Anita Ekberg was already a star. Miss Sweden in 1950, her stunning beauty and the producer Robert Hughes guaranteed her open doors in Hollywood. Her marriage to Anthony Steel in Florence, in 1956, hit the headlines and the glossy magazines presented her as the anti-Sophia Loren. By casting her, Fellini played safe and his choice proved right. Anita became a symbol and her name alone denotes an era.
1960, Rome. Joan Collins at Hotel Hassler for the release of Esther and the king directed by Raoul Walsh and Mario Bava. Five husbands, an endless series of affairs, most of them open and declared, and her pin-up beauty have made Joan Collins the English answer to Elizabeth Taylor and one of the most talked about stars of the international star system. Her greatest success in the fifties was Rally Round the Flag, Boys! directed by Leo McCarey (1958) where she co-starred with Paul Newman
1960. Top Italian film director Federico Fellini sits holding the “Chaplin d’Oro” (Golden Chaplin), a statuette representing Charlie Chaplin, in a Rome theatre at night on Feb. 21, 1960. He received this award for his latest film “La Dolce Vita” (The Sweet Life) from the movie association “Charlie Chaplin” which is composed chiefly of movie critics. “La Dolce Vita”, although criticized by the church and Christian organizations, is in this moment the biggest movie success in Italy. The film was released only a few weeks ago. It runs more than 3 hours and attacks high society life in the Italian capital. AP Photo/Ivan Crosoenco.
That Italy of the 50s where more than half of the population speak only the dialect and where there are over 6 million illiterates. Italy itself, however, where you sell lots of records (18 million only in ’58) and attends almost every day the cinema (in ’53 there’s one for every 33,000 inhabitants for a total expenditure of 93 billion lire), where Coca Cola drinking, dancing rock’n roll, save, and looks to the future.
Everything is about to change: the rhythms, lifestyles, clothing. The war is over and the common people just want to dream. In the emerging world of images, film, love, vices and scandals of the stars are followed with passion about the magazine (every week now sells more than a million copies, period five hundred thousand) where stories, marriage and divorce chase with the pace of modern times.
In ’49 the passion between Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini on the set of Stromboli terra di Dio and the international press scandal, Prince Massimo married in ’54, not too long, the beautiful British actress Dawn Addams, as Charlie Chaplin best man, always in ’54 Vittorio Gassman divorce from second wife, Shelley Winters and start story with Anna Maria Ferrero, Lucia Bose in ’55, after the love story with Walter Chiari, falls in love with bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin, in ‘ 56 the marriage of Grace Kelly and Rainier of Monaco is broadcast live on television; Maria Callas left her husband Battista Meneghini for greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis, in the ’60s and the marriage of Virna Lisi and Franco Pesce is one of the most photographed events of ‘ year.