- Motion picture actors and actresses Italy -- Biography.
- Celebrities Italy -- Case studies.
- Fame -- Social aspects -- Italy.
- Realism in motion pictures.
- Motion pictures -- Italy -- History -- 20th century.
Italian cinema gave rise to a number of the best-known films of the postwar years, from Rome Open City to Bicycle Thieves. Although some neorealist film-makers would have preferred to abolish stars altogether, the public adored them and producers needed their help in relaunching the national film industry. This book explores the many conflicts that arose in Italy between 1945 and 1953 over stars and stardom, offering intimate studies of the careers of both well-known and less familiar figures, shedding new light on the close relationship forged between cinema and society during a time of political transition and shifting national identities.
PART I: ITALIAN CINEMA AND SOCIETY, 1945-52
1. Postwar Cinema and the Challenges of Democracy
2. The Film Industry from Fascism to the Cold War
3. The Transformation of the Star System
4. The Public, Film-Going and the Stars
PART II: STARDOM, ANTI-FASCISM AND NEOREALISM
5. Massimo Girotti: Proletarian Apollo
6. Clara Calamai: The Suspension of Glamour
7. Aldo Fabrizi: Nostalgia and Popular Culture
8. Anna Magnani: Authenticity and the Star Persona
9. Andrea Checchi: Shadows of Defeat
PART III: POPULAR IDOLS FOR NEW TIMES
10. Totò: Jester of the Republic
11. Silvana Mangano: Beauty and Stardom
12. Amedeo Nazzari: The Hero Domesticated
13. Silvana Pampanini: Dream Girl of the Masses
14. Raf Vallone: The Physiognomy of Fame
PART IV: RECONFIGURATIONS OF STARDOM
17. The Non-Professional Actor and Low Definition Stardom
18. Co-productions and the International Stardom
Stephen Gundle is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick. He is the author of several books and many articles about modern and contemporary Italy. His most recent volumes are Death and the Dolce Vita: The Dark Side of Rome in the 1950s (Canongate, 2011) and Mussolini’s Dream Factory: Film Stardom in Fascist Italy (Berghahn, 2013).
“Fame amid the Ruins is a comprehensive study with an impressive scope and great relevance for questions of history, politics, and intellectual life in postwar Italy. In clear and direct prose, it encompasses a variety of important topics and approaches, including individual biographies, stars’ roles within the wider industry, performance, and film style.”
• Louis Bayman, University of Southampton
“Stephen Gundle admirably devotes close and sustained attention to the stardom phenomenon by providing profiles of stars rarely examined and, most importantly, by looking at the sum of their impact on Italian culture. This is a tour de force for its range and argumentative depth.”
• Giorgio Bertellini, author of The Divo and The Duce: Promoting Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America
Gundle, Stephen [1956-]
Fame amid the Ruins: Italian Film Stardom in the Age of Neorealism.
New York / Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2020 , xiv, 370 p., 30 ill., 24 cm.
ISBN 9781789200010 (hb., $149,00/GBP 110,00 )
ISBN 9781789200027 (eb., $34,95)