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13 January 2012

Eloisa Cianni

Eloisa Cianni (1932) was Miss Italia 1952 and Miss Europe 1953. In the following decade the beauty queen appeared in 15 Italian films, mostly as herself.

Eloisa Cianni
Italian postcard by Fotocelere, Torino. Offered by Davide Bedarida 'Lane per materassi stabilimento', Livorno.

Beauty Contest Craze
Eloisa Cianni was born as Aloisa Stukin in Rome, Italy in 1932. She got her Polish surname from her stepfather, who had married her mother. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s beauty contests were the craze, and in 1952 Eloisa was elected Miss Italy in Merano. She then became Miss Europe in 1953 in Istanbul in Turkey. One of the prizes was a secondary part in the Italian-French comedy-drama Villa Borghese/It Happened in the Park (1953, Vittorio de Sica, Gianni Franciolini) starring Gérard Philipe. It was an anthology film about a day in the Villa Borghese park in Rome, consisting of five episodes. Eloisa appeared in the final episode, Beauty Contest. IMDb reviewer Gerald A. Deluca (a.k.a. Italian Gerry) calls the episode ‘racy’: “Beauty Contest is a Felliniesque dissertation about two rival Roman street–prostitutes, who as they are about to be rounded up by the police, wind up at a Miss Cinema beauty contest taking place in the park. The younger of the women (Eloisa Cianni) eludes the police by going off with an older man in his car. The other and older one (Franca Valeri) is not so lucky and the episode and the film end as she is driven off in a police vehicle.”

Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren. Belgian postcard by Bromophoto, Brussels.

I Loved A Diva
Eloisa Cianni’s film debut lead to more minor appearances in such Italian productions as the Peppino De Filippo comedy Peppino e la nobile dama/Peppino and the noble lady (1954, Piero Ballerini), the Racconti romani/Roman Tales (1955, Gianni Franciolini) with Franco Fabrizi and Totò, and the comedy-drama Il segno di Venere/The Sign of Venus (1955, Dino Risi) starring Sophia Loren. During the second part of the 1950’s she continued to work in the cinema, but she usually played just herself. These later films included Ho amato una diva/I loved a diva (1957, Luigi De Marchi), the comedy Amore a prima vista/Love at First Sight (1958, Franco Rossi) starring Walter Chiari, another comedy Adorabili e bugiarde/Adorable and a Liar (1958, Nunzio Malasomma) with Isabelle Corey, and Amore e guai/Love and trouble (1958, Angelo Dorigo) with Marcello Mastroianni. Finally, after a last role in the comedy Le magnifiche sette/The magnificent seven (1961, Marino Girolami) she gave up her acting career. At the time of her retirement, she was not yet thirty.


Italian singer Wilma De Angelis performs La storia di un amore sbagliato (1968), combined with clips from Le magnifiche sette (1961). Source: fardoneat66 (YouTube).

Sources: Pavel ‘Argenson’ Vlach (CSFD)(Czech), Wikipedia (Italian), and IMDb.

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