Life Begins Anew

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Life Begins Anew
Directed by Mario Mattoli
Written by Aldo De Benedetti
Mario Mattoli
Starring Alida Valli
Fosco Giachetti
Eduardo De Filippo
Carlo Romano
Music by Ezio Carabella
Cinematography Ubaldo Arata
Edited by Fernando Tropea
Excelsa Film
Distributed by Minerva Film
Release date
  • 21 September 1945 (1945-09-21)
Running time
84 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Life Begins Anew (Italian: La vita ricomincia) is a 1945 Italian drama film directed by Mario Mattoli and starring Alida Valli, Fosco Giachetti and Eduardo De Filippo. It was the second most popular Italian film during 1945-46 after Roberto Rossellini's Paisan.[1]


The film was shot on location in war-damaged Naples. This was not because the director Mattoli wished to follow neorealist style, which he largely rejected.[2] Interior scenes were shot at the Palatino Studios in Rome. The film was important in Giachetti's transition from one of the leading stars of the Fascist era into a figure acceptable to post-war audiences. This was partly achieved through retaining his previously strongly masculine persona which was adapted to the new conditions. Alida Valli, also a celebrated Fascist period star, received a boost from the film and went to Hollywood the following year.


An Italian serviceman returns home to Rome after spending some time in a British Prisoner of War camp during the Second World War. He finds that his wife, during the desperate war years, has become a prostitute to pay for medicine to keep their son alive. He is at first outraged and pushes her away, but after being given wise advice by a friendly neighbour, he decides to reconcile with her.



  1. ^ Bayman p.96
  2. ^ Gundle p.272


  • Bayman, Louis (ed.) Directory of World Cinema: Italy. Intellect Books, 2011.
  • Gundle, Stephen. Mussolini's Dream Factory: Film Stardom in Fascist Italy. Berghahn Books, 2013.
  • Hipkins, Danielle & Plain, Gill (eds.) War-torn Tales: Literature, Film and Gender in the Aftermath of World War II. Peter Lang, 2007.

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