23 August 2019

Giovanna Ralli

Since 1942, Italian actress Giovanna Ralli (1935) appeared in more than 80 films and TV series and during her career she worked with some of the greatest directors of the Italian cinema such as Vittorio de Sica, Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini and Ettore Scola. Twice she won the prestigious Nastri d'Argento award, including one for her supporting role in Scola’s classic comedy C'eravamo tanto amati (1974).

Giovanna Ralli
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. S 520, Photo: Unitalia / Poletto.

Giovanna Ralli
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 484, Photo: Carlo Ponti.

Giovanna Ralli
Italian postcard, no. 453.

Fresh Beauty

Giovanna Ralli was born in Rome, Italy in 1935. She is the sister of actress Patrizia Lari.

Ralli began her screen career at the age of seven with bit roles in films like La maestrina/The school teacher (Giorgio Bianchi, 1942) starring María Denis, and Vittorio de Sica’s I bambini ci guardano/The Children Are Watching Us (1942).

Still very young she played many small parts in such films as the comedy Signori, in carrozza/Rome-Paris-Rome (Luigi Zampa, 1951) and La famiglia Passaguai/The Passaguai Family (Aldo Fabrizi, 1951) as Aldo Fabrizi’s daughter.

Her most interesting film from this period was Federico Fellini’s directorial debutLuci del varietà/Variety Lights (1950), co-directed by Alberto Lattuada.

As she matured into a fresh beauty, she began to play tough, spontaneous young women. In the 1950s she stood out in films like Anni facile/Easy Years (Luigi Zampa, 1953), the anthology Amore in Città/Love in the City (Alberto Lattuada a.o., 1953), Villa Borghese/It Happened in the Park (Vittorio de Sica, Gianni Franciolini, 1953), Racconti romani/Roman Tales (Gianni Franciolini, 1955), and Le ragazze di San Frediano/Girls of San Frediano (Valerio Zurlini, 1954) with Rossana Podestà.

She also appeared opposite Alberto Sordi in Un eroe dei nostri tempi/A hero of our time (Mario Monicelli, 1955), and opposite Marcello Mastroianni in Il bigamo/The bigamist (Luciano Emmer, 1956).

Giovanna Ralli
Spanish postcard by Soberanas, no. 205.

Giovanna Ralli
German postcard by VEB Progress-Filmvertrieb, Berlin.

Giovanna Ralli
German cigarette card.

Good Dramatic Performer

Eventually Giovanna Ralli graduated to playing leads in Italian and international films. She proved to be a good dramatic performer in three films directed by the legendary Roberto Rossellini, the war dramas Il generale della Rovere/General della Rovere (1959) featuring Vittorio de Sica, Era notte a Roma/It was night in Rome (1960) with Renato Salvatori, and the historical drama Viva l'Italia!/Garibaldi (1961).

For her role in the lesbian romance La fuga/The Escape (Paolo Spinola, 1964) she won a Nastro d'Argento (the Silver Ribbon) as Best Actress.

She also played strong roles in the comedies La vita agra/Sour Life (Carlo Lizzani, 1964) opposite Ugo Tognazzi, and Se permettete parliamo di donne/Let's Talk About Women (Ettore Scola, 1964) starring Vittorio Gassman.

Her international productions include the war comedy What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (Blake Edwards, 1966) with James Coburn, and the crime drama Deadfall (Bryan Forbes, 1968) with Michael Caine.

Ralli starred in a few Westerns: Le Goût de la violence/Taste of Violence (Robert Hossein, 1961), Il Mercenario/A Professional Gun (Sergio Corbucci, 1968) with Franco Nero, and the American production Cannon for Cordoba (Paul Wendkos, 1969) starring George Peppard.

Giovanna Ralli
Italian postcard by Bromostampa, Milano, no. 189.

Giovanna Ralli
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano (Milan), no. 1484. Photo: Cineriz.

Giovanna Ralli
Czech postcard by Nakladatelstvi Orbis, Praha (Prague), no. F 03-03659. Retail price: 0,70 Kcs. Photo: Wilém Rosegnal.

Successful Comedies

During the 1970s Giovanna Ralli returned in some successful comedies, including Ettore Scola’s C'eravamo tanto amati/We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974). Once again she played Aldo Fabrizi’s daughter in the film, for which role she won her second Nastro d'Argento, now as Best Supporting Actress. Another hit was Di che segno sei?/What's your sign? (Sergio Corbucci, 1975).

She also appeared in another popular genre, the Giallo La polizia chiede aiuto/The Coed Murders (Massimo Dallamano, 1974) opposite Mario Adorf.

In 1977 she married Ettore Boschi. From the 1980s on, she appeared mainly on stage and in television productions, like the Rai TV series Un prete tra noi/A priest among us (Giorgio Capitani, Lodovico Gasparini, 1997) and Ho sposato uno sbirro/I Married A Cop (2008) in which she played the mother of Flavio Insinna.

Her later films include Verso sera/In the evening (Francesca Archibugi, 1991) with Marcello Mastroianni, and Il pranzo della domenica/ Sunday lunch (Carlo Vanzina, 2003) with Massimo Ghini, for which she was again nominated for a Nastro d'Argento as Best Supporting Actress. (She did not win this time.)

In 1993 she obtained the Flaiano Award for Lifetime Achievement for her theatrical and cinematic merits. In 2008 she also received the Premio Chioma di Berenice, another award for her whole career.

At the 2015 Taormina Film Fest, where Giovanna Ralli received a special award for her career, she announced her retirement from acting. The last films in which she appeared, are the comedies Immaturi/The Immature (Paolo Genovese, 2011), Immaturi - Il viaggio/The Immature - The Voyage (Paolo Genovese, 2012) and Un ragazzo d'oro/A Golden Boy (Pupi Avati, 2014), as the mother of Riccardo Scamarcio's character.

Giovanna Ralli
Belgian postcard, no. 212. Photo: Unitalia Film.

Giovanna Ralli
Italian postcard. Italy's New Photos.

Giovanna Ralli
Czechoslovakian postcard by Nakladatelstvi Orbis, Praha (Prague), no. F 348009 077 841. Photo: Vilém Rosegnal.

Giovanna Ralli
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 3194, 1968. Retail price: 0,20 MDN. Photo: Progress. Giovanna Ralli in Liolà/A Very Handy Man(Alessandro Blasetti, 1964).

Giovanna Ralli
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 108.

Sources: Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.

1 comment:

Bunched Undies said...

I'll have to seek out some of her work. Such a beauty!