Vittorio De Sica

Essay by NoTTiNzZzHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 2005

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Vittorio De Sica was one of the most well known directors and actors in his time. He directed 34 films and starred in over 150 movies. De Sica was born in Sora, Italy on July 7th, 1902. He was raised in Naples, Italy where he worked as an office clerk in order to support his family.

At an early age, De Sica was fascinated with acting and movies. This fascination led him to make his first screen appearance in "The Clemenceau Affair" in 1918. He joined Tatiana Pavlova's acting company in 1923 and became one of Italy's most famous actors with his good looks.

He decided to form his own company, producing plays and co-starring with his wife, Giuditta Rissone. Although he decided to pursue a career in directing in 1939, he still acted in numerous films. Some early works of De Sica were the 1940's "Maddalena, Zero in Condotta," the 1941's "Teresa Venerdi" and "Un Garibaldino al Convento."

Because his work lacked distinction, he began experimenting with neorealism; humanistic movies that depicted the harsh realities of countrymen after World War II. His first successful film which included neorealism was "I Bambini ci Guardano." It was about the impact of adult folly on a child's innocent mind. De Sica stopped directing for a period of time due to the war. In 1946, De Sica began working with screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. They had barely enough money to produce films. As a result, they created documentary style films with realistic places and non-professional actors. Together they directed and produced award winning films such as "Sciuscià " and "Ladri di Biciclette." "Sciuscià " received a Special Academy Award in 1948. This film caused the creationed of a new category in the Oscars - Best Foreign Language Film. De Sica, again, won a Special...