Sophia Loren to Appear at 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival

SophiaSometime in the early 1980s, my mom brought home a new perfume.

“What’s ‘So-peeya’?” my sister Missy asked, adorably mispronouncing the name inscribed on the fancy glass bottle.

“It’s Sophia,” my mother corrected. “It’s a perfume named after a beautiful movie actress. I always wanted to look like her.”

Missy looked at the bottle on the table for a few seconds, then glanced up at Mom.

“Well, if you can’t look like her, at least you can smell like her!”

In my sister’s defense, she was only 7 or so when she issued this unintentional dis, and my mom got plenty of mileage from it, repeating the story at just about every family party for the next thirty years.

I thought of that unforgettable moment from my childhood when Turner Classic Movies announced today that Sophia Loren will attend the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood next month. The two-time Oscar-winner will introduce a screening of MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE (1964) and sit down with host Robert Osborne for a interview to be broadcast on the channel next year. Sophia Loren: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival will be recorded on Saturday, March 28 at the Ricardo Montalban Theater in Hollywood, in front of what is likely to be a capacity crowd of TCMFF passholders.

96-1Born Sofia Scicolone in Rome in 1934, Loren first came to international prominence in Italian comedy films of the mid-1950s from directors like Dino Risi and Vittorio De Sica. Hollywood soon came calling, and the young actress was cast opposite some of the biggest stars of the era, including Gregory Peck, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. (Loren’s vocal rendition of “Bing! Bang! Bong!” opposite Grant in 1958’s HOUSEBOAT is a thing of perverse beauty). She won an Oscar in 1962 for her role as a fiercely protective mother in war-torn Italy in the heart-wrenching drama TWO WOMEN and was nominated three years later for MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE (both directed by De Sica). Despite slowing down to raise her children, Loren continued to be one of the most popular international stars in the ensuing decades, and she was recognized with an honorary Oscar by the Academy in 1991.

Loren continues to work sporadically today, earning accolades for Rob Marshall’s NINE (2009), appearing in an Italian TV miniseries in 2010, voicing the character of Mama Topolino in the non-English language versions of CARS 2 (2011), and starring in her son Edoardo Ponti’s short film HUMAN VOICE (2014). Last year she appeared at the Cannes Film Festival, presenting an acting master class and introducing MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE as part of the Cannes Classics series.

And, of course, she’s still beautiful at age 80.


My mom, mid-1950s

My mother would also have celebrated her 80th birthday in March, just days before Loren’s appearance at the TCM Classic Film Festival, so I’m sure she’ll be there in spirit. And if you’re planning to be there in person, I suggest you line up early. The Montalban Theater only seats 300, and Robert Osborne’s chat with this living legend is likely to be one of the hottest tickets in a weekend filled with must-see events.

Sadly, my sister won’t be able to attend, because she’ll be busy taking care of her kids. By the way, her youngest daughter, age 3, is beautiful and loves having her picture taken. Which makes perfect sense, considering her name is Sophia.

Passes are on sale now for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival. For more information, visit their website. To read my coverage of TCMFF in past years, click here

About willmckinley

I'm a New York City-based writer, video producer, print journalist, radio/podcast host, and social media influencer. I've been a guest on Turner Classic Movies (interviewed by Robert Osborne), NPR, Sirius Satellite Radio, and the official TCM podcast. My byline has appeared in and more than 100 times in the pages of NYC alt weeklies like The Villager and Gay City News. I'm also a social media copywriter for Sony's getTV and a contributor to four film-and-TV-related books: "Monster Serial," "Bride of Monster Serial," "Taste the Blood of Monster Serial," and "Remembering Jonathan Frid."
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15 Responses to Sophia Loren to Appear at 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival

  1. CineMaven says:

    Beautiful Will. Just beautiful.

  2. le0pard13 says:

    My heart went all aflutter once I read the news today. This is going to be great. Can’t wait.

  3. Very evocative and touching, Will. Your essays about personal connections to classic film and your hard-hitting, no- nonsense reports about industry machinations reveal what a verstile gem of a reporter you are.

  4. Great post, Will. I love the picture of your mom. Isn’t a trip seeing pictures of your parents when they were really young.

  5. Thanks Will for this reminder of how amazing Sophia Loren is/was. I’m considering for our 30th Anniversary next year dusting off the credit cards and heading west for the 2016 TCM FF. Ever talk to anyone who bought the really high-end passes for the event and heard their experiences?

    Hard for me to understand, I just don’t have a frame of reference! But if we are going to do the festival for our 30th, I want to go first class!

    thanks again!

    • willmckinley says:

      Michael, I know a few people who go for the spotlight passes. There are a few nice perks, but to my way of thinking it’s not worth the money. I’d go for the Essential pass. It’s less than half the price, and you get access to everything, including the opening night red carpet screening.

  6. willmckinley says:

    Rooms at the Roosevelt often sell out on the day the dates are announced, so plan ahead!

  7. Diane says:

    Please add the family affair staring Brain Keith. And the real Mccoy.

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