Tag Archives: Coppa Volpi

Images of the 60’s from the Venice International Film Festival


*Featured Photo: Brigitte Bardot illuminating Venice with her presence in 1958: the photographers chase her and she immediately becomes the center of social life on the Lido. “BB”, at the peak of her career, came to the 19th Venice Film Festival as part of the cast of the film En cas de malheur (Love Is My Profession) by Claude Autant-Lara. (Photo credit courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia.)

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Claudia Cardinale steps down onto the dock of the Hotel Excelsior, in 1965: she was one of the most highly acclaimed divas that year as the star of the film Vague Stars of Ursa, by Lucchino Visconti, which would win the Golden Lion as Best Film. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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1958: Sophia Loren is thrilled to embrace the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress which she had just won for the film Black Orchid by Martin Ritt. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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Young, naively seductive, star of the masterpiece-scandal of the 1962 Venice Film Festival: sixteen-year-old Sue Lyon, the unforgettable Lolita in Stanley Kubrick’s film, at a party on the Lido. Kubrick did not come to Venice: only Ms. Lyon was there to attend the official screening in the Sala Grande on August 31, 1962. That year the films also included Momma Roma, by Pier Pasolini, and Knife in the Water by Roman Polanski. (Photo courtesy of Asac- la Biennale di Venezia)


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1963: Paul Newman comes to Venice as the star of Hud by Martin Ritt, presented in Competition. The Lido went crazy for the most famous of Hollywood’s superstars: Newman was 38 years old, he was at the peak of his career, and journalists went out of their way to meet him. Oriana Fallaci interviewed him at the Venice Film Festival for “L’Europeo” with her unmistakable directness, she asked him to take off his glasses during the conversation. Newman answered: “If someone asks to take off your glasses, I want to see your blue eyes, it makes me so angry. Just like when they tell me ‘you’re so great, and your eyes are so blue.’ I always get the impression that when you’re handsome, people accept you for the wrong reasons: not because of who you are but because you are handsome.” (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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A crowded red carpet for the opening ceremony of the 28th edition of the Venice Film Festival, on August 28th, 1966: making his appearance is Ugo Tognazzi surrounded by Franca Bettoia, Olga Villi, Tina Louise, Les Crane and Alicia Brandet. They are all headed into the Sala Grande for the opening film, The Wild Angels, by Roger Corman, starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)


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Triumphant red carpet for the cast members Annie Girardot, Renato Salvatori, Claudia Cardinale, Max Cartier, Alain Delon, and Katrina Paxinou from the film  Rocco And His Brothers. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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1965: Ermanno Olmi and Rod Steiger talk as they descend the staircase of the Hotel Excelsior on the way to the beach. The director was at the Venice Film Festival, Out of Competition, with the film A Man Called John, a tribute to the figure of Pope John XXIII, starring Steiger and Adolfo Celi. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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The gondola hoisted in front of the Palazzo del Cinema to promote Tinto Brass’ 1963 film, Chi Lavora e Perduto. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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1968: A young Bernardo Bertolucci, in Competition at the Venice Film Festival with the film, Partner, in conversation with the Director of the Festival, Luigi Chiarini. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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1968: Liliana Cavani receives a bouquet in Sala Grande, shortly before the official screening of her film, Galileo, presented in Competition. Standing next to her is the star of the film, S0uth African Cyril Cusack. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)


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Dustin Hoffman and his wife Anne Byrne Hoffman in the Sala Grande in 1971: the actor came to the Venice Film Festival as the star of Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? by Ulu Grosbard. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)
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The great Charlie Chaplin receives the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 1972. To celebrate him, the Venice Film Festival that year organized a major retrospective of his work, “Il tutto Chaplin 1914-1966,” screening many of the early short films he made as his trademark character. (Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia)

Images coupled with archival documentaries highlight Venice Film Festival in the 1930’s




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1932: the public of the first Venice International Film Festival at the Chez Vous at the Hotel Excelsior, in the garden of the Fontane Luminose at the Lido di Venezia. The first film to be screened in the history of the Venice Film Festival, which appeared on the screen at 9:15 pm on August 6th 1932, was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian. Though it was not yet a competition, the Venice Film Festival presented important titles that would then become classics in the history of cinema such as It happened one night by Frank Capra, Grand Hotel by Edmund Goulding, The Champ by King Vidor, Frankenstein by James Whale, Zemlja (Earth) by Aleksandr Dovzenko, Gli uomini che mascalzoni… (What Scoundrels Men Are!) by Mario Camerini, A nous la liberté by René Clair. The major stars of the era appeared on the screen, from Greta Garbo to Clark Gable, from Norma Shearer to James Cagney, from John Barrymore to Joan Crawford, to the Italian superstar Vittorio De Sica.



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Dancing at night at the Tabarin at the Excelsior, in 1934: starting with the second edition, the Venice Film Festival becomes a competition. The programme also features Everybody’s Woman by Max Ophüls, It Happened One Night by Frank Capra and Little Women by George Cukor.
III Esposizione internazionale d’arte cinematografica (1935)
Count Volpi di Misurata, president of the Biennale, confers the awards: the Coppa del Duce for the two Best Films (the Golden Lion did not exist yet) go to Casta Diva and Anna Karenina, the Istituto Nazionale Luce wins the Coppa della Biennale for Best Italian Documentary for Riscatto, “inspired by one of the most glorious Fascist endeavours, the redemption of the Agro”, says the announcer.
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Isa Miranda, just barely twenty-six, in Venice in 1935 as the star of Passaporto rosso by Guido Brignone: at her right is her husband Alfredo Guarini. In 1935 the Venice Film Festival becomes a yearly event and the prize for best actor and actress takes the name that it has maintained to this day: Coppa Volpi.
IV Mostra internazionale d’arte cinematografica (1936)
In the film clip from the Luce Archives, summer resort images of the Lido and the description of the awards that year: “The Coppa del Duce for Best Foreign Film was won by Der Kaiser of California (The Kaiser of California), produced by Trenker, and the Coppa del Duce for Best Italian Film was won by Squadrone bianco (The White Squadron), produced by Roma Film. The Coppa Volpi for Best Actor was awarded to Paul Muni for The Story of Louis Pasteur. The Istituto Luce with Il cammino degli Eroi won the Coppa del Partito for best political and social film and the award from the National Institute for Educational Cinema for best scientific film”.
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1937: the Venice Film Festival had grown in success and attendees, and left the terrace of the Excelsior Hotel heading to the new Palazzo del Cinema, designed in a modernist style by engineer Luigi Quagliata and built in a record-breaking time. It is still today, apart from the 1940 to 1948 editions, the main facility of the Festival.