Gold Of Naples, The

1942. THE GOLD Of NAPLES (1954-Italy). With SOPHIA LOREN,VITTORIO DE SICA,TOTO SILVANA MANGANO. Directed and co-scripted by VITTORIO DE SICA. Produced by DINO Dl LAURENTIS, CARLO PONTI. This funny, poignant, beautifully directed comedy-drama consists Of four vignettes, covering a range Of emotions from pride to humility, gaiety to sadness. Each is filled with distinctive, memorably etched characters, all Of whom are residents Of the ancient city to Naples. Toto, one Of Italy’s most cherished comic actors, stars in the first. He Offers a letter-perfect performance as a woebegone husband and father whose childhood friend, a racketeer, has beer welshing Off him for the past decade, living in his house like a parasite. What’s more, the thug orders his wife and children around like slaves. What will he do when he learns that his nemesis is seriously ill, and any sudden noise or shock is sure to result in swift and sudden death? De Sica himself appears in the second installment, perfectly cast as a dapper count and inveterate gambler, who is cash poo because his wealthy wife has cut Off his funds. Desperate to barter with someone-anyone-he man ages to engage an eight-year-old boy (and pint-sized cardsharp-in-training) in a hot game Of casino Silvana Mangano stars in the third, an ironic, powerful drama, playing a prostitute who enters into; strange marriage contract with a man she has never met. He is a somber, guilt-ridden fellow and, as she will soon learn, he has wed her for the strangest reason. Sophia Loren (who was all Of twenty) when she made this, and already an established star in her homeland) headlines the finale. La Loren oozes sex appeal in her role as the beautiful, flirtatious wife Of a pot-bellied pizza baker. She had told her husband that she had gone Off to mass, but instead went to meet her lover for a tryst. Trouble and scandal are sure to follow when she realizes she has left a valuable emerald ring, a gift from her mate, in the lover’s apartment. Dubbed in English. 87 minutes. Comedy-Drama