A Special Day

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A Special Day
Una giornata particolare).jpg
Film poster
Directed by Ettore Scola
Produced by Carlo Ponti
Written by Maurizio Costanzo
Ruggero Maccari
Ettore Scola
Starring Sophia Loren
Marcello Mastroianni
John Vernon
Music by Armando Trovajoli
Cinematography Pasqualino De Santis
Edited by Raimondo Crociani
Distributed by Surf Film
Release dates
  • 17 May 1977 (1977-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 12 August 1977 (1977-08-12) (Italy)
Running time
110 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

A Special Day (Italian: Una giornata particolare) is a 1977 Italian film directed by Ettore Scola and starring Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and John Vernon.[1] Set in Rome in 1938, its narrative follows a woman and her neighbor who stay home the day Adolf Hitler visits Benito Mussolini.

The film is an Italian-Canadian co-production. It has received several nominations and awards, including a César Award for Best Foreign Film in 1978 and two Oscar nominations in 1977, and it is featured on the list of the 100 Italian films to be saved.[2]


Gabriele (Mastroianni) and Antonietta (Loren) in her living room

On May 8, 1938, the day Hitler visited Mussolini in Rome, Antonietta, a native and sentimental homemaker (Loren) stays home doing her usual domestic tasks, while her fascist husband (Vernon) and her six spoilt children take to the streets to follow the parade. The building is empty except for a neighbor across the complex (Mastroianni), a charming man named Gabriele. He is a radio broadcaster who has been dismissed from his job and is about to be deported to Sardinia because of his anti-fascist stance and his homosexuality. They meet by chance and began to talk. Antonietta is surprised by his opinions and, unaware of his sexual orientation, flirts with him.

Despite their differences, they warm to each other. Antonietta confides to him her troubles with her arrogant and unfaithful husband, and eventually they have sex before he is arrested and her family comes back home. At the end, Antonietta sits near the window and starts reading a book Gabriele has given her (The Three Musketeers) and watches her lover leaving the complex, escorted by fascist policemen; then she turns off the light and goes to bed, where her husband is waiting for her in order to beget the seventh child.[3][4]


Special scenes[edit]

A number of unusual cinematic techniques are used in this film. A long take scene introduces Antonietta and her family: the camera enters through the kitchen window and moves into the rooms. Deep focus is utilised in a scene in which the camera is in Antonietta's room with her in the frame, and through a distant window Gabriele can simultaneously be seen moving in his house in the same frame.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NY Times: A Special Day". NY Times.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  2. ^ "'Ecco i cento film italiani da salvare' e su tutti vincono Fellini e Visconti" (in Italian). la Repubblica. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2013.  line feed character in |title= at position 40 (help)
  3. ^ Review - A Special Day Channel 4.
  4. ^ A Special Day
  5. ^ "The 35th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1978). List of winners and nominees". The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. 
  6. ^ "The 50th Academy Awards (1978) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  7. ^ "Una giornata particolare. Premi vinti" (in Italian). Accademia del Cinema Italiano. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Palmares 1978 - 3rd Cesar Award Ceremony". Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma. 
  9. ^ "Festival de Cannes. Official Selection 1977: In Competition". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 

External links[edit]