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Movie Poster of the Week: Anna Magnani in Movie Posters

The career of Italy’s greatest actress in poster art.
Above: French grande for Volcano (William Dierterle, Italy, 1950).
A few weeks ago, I featured the posters of Anna Karina; now it’s the turn of that other legendary Anna... La Magnani or “La Lupa”, the she-wolf, as she was known. Magnani is currently being fêted at Lincoln Center in an all-celluloid retrospective showing 24 of her films that runs through June 1 before traveling to Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Columbus.
Magnani became a star with her powerhouse performance in Rossellini’s Rome, Open City in 1945, and the indelible image of her chasing down the Nazi soldiers who have taken her resistance-hero husband, is one that seems to have informed her persona throughout her career. No sex-kitten, Magnani was the personification of the great actress, and in her posters she is almost always emoting. She is rarely shown smiling (look at her scowling at Ingrid Bergman—in real life she had good reason to when Rossellini left her for the Swedish star—in the poster for We, the Women) and is more often shown in the throes of anguish, as in the French poster for Volcano above or the German Mamma Roma below. Too often she is depicted being manhandled by her male co-star (Anthony Franciosa in Wild is the Wind, Marlon Brando in The Fugitive Kind) though she never seems less than capable of holding her own. She is beautifully depicted in the two French posters for Renoir’s The Golden Coach, but my favorite Magnani posters are the two very different designs for Rossellini’s L’Amore by two of the greats: a typically tempestuous double-portrait by Anselmo Ballester from 1948 (that title treatment!) and a near-abstract monochrome take on the same film by Hans Hillmann made nearly twenty years later.
Above: 1980s French re-release grande for Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, Italy, 1945).
Above: Argentinean poster for Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, Italy, 1945).
Above: Argentinean poster for Peddlin’ in Society (Gennaro Righelli, Italy, 1946).
Above: Italian 2-foglio for L’Amore (Roberto Rossellini, Italy, 1948). Artist: Anselmo Ballester.
Above: 1960s German re-release poster for L’Amore (Roberto Rossellini, Italy, 1948). Designer: Hans Hillmann.
Above: Italian 2-foglio for Volcano (William Dierterle, Italy, 1950).
Above: Russian poster for Bellissima (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1952). Artist: Zelinsky.
Above: French affiche for The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir, France, 1953).
Above: French grande for The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir, France, 1953). Designer: Clément Hurel.
Above: Belgian poster for The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir, France, 1953).
Above: Italian 2-foglio for We, the Women (Rossellini, Visconti, Zampa, Franciolini & Guarini, Italy, 1953).
Above: 1957 Polish poster for We, the Women (Rossellini, Visconti, Zampa, Franciolini & Guarini, Italy, 1953). Artist: Piotr Borowy.
Above: US one-sheet for The Rose Tattoo (Daniel Mann, USA, 1955).
Above: French grande for Wild is the Wind (George Cukor, USA, 1957). Artist: Boris Grinsson.
Above: US three-sheet for Wild is the Wind (George Cukor, USA, 1957).
Above: French grande for ...And the Wild, Wild Women (Renato Castellani, Italy, 1959). Artist: Ercole Brini.
Above: German poster for ...And the Wild, Wild Women (Renato Castellani, Italy, 1959). Artist: Litter.
Above: US six-sheet for The Fugitive Kind (Sidney Lumet, USA, 1960).
Above: Czech poster for The Passionate Thief (Mario Monicelli, Italy, 1960). Designer: Jiri Raym.
Above: 1967 East German poster for Mamma Roma (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1962). Designer: Gruttner.
Above: Italian double fotobusta for Mamma Roma (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1962).
Above: 1994 US re-release poster for Mamma Roma (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1962). Art by Ercole Brini.
Posters courtesy of Posteritati, Heritage Auctions and Kinoart.net.
Excellent collection! Thank you so much.

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