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Portrait of Gina, or Viva Italia is a 1958 documentary film by Orson Welles. It was funded by ABC TV. Around 30 minutes long, it follows a similar style to The Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth
(1958) and F for Fake
F for Fake
(1973). It was intended to be the pilot for a television series called Around the World with Orson Welles, which is also the name of a series Welles made in 1955 for British commercial television. The film is about Italy (Welles's third wife, Paola Mori
Paola Mori
was of Italian nationality) where the film maker lived and worked intermittently for about 20 years (roughly 1947-1969). The picture discusses both negative and positive aspects of Italian culture. Actress Gina Lollobrigida, who is interviewed at the end of the film, has refused to allow the public release of the film, reportedly because she was displeased by its portrayal of her as an ambitious young actress. Vittorio De Sica, Rozzano Brazzi, Anna Gruber and Welles' wife, Paola Mori, are also briefly interviewed, and the film moves along at a rapid speed: it is cut 'quick on the eye' in the style of Welles's film-making. When Welles submitted the film to ABC, they complained that they only received one reel of unorthodox material which they deemed unshowable, and it was never broadcast. Two years earlier, Welles had made another TV program, on Alexandre Dumas, père. It too was rejected as being incompetent, while a further programme made in 1956, The Fountain of Youth, was originally rejected on similar grounds (although it ended up getting a late-night screening in 1958, resulting in a Peabody Award). In the late 1950s, Welles left the only copy of Viva Italia in his hotel room at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. The film cans were unmarked, and ended up in the hotel's lost-and-found department and were eventually moved to a storage facility. The film was thought to be permanently lost until it was discovered in 1986. It was at that point that it was finally given a public showing at the Venice Film Festival, which is where Lollobrigida saw it and took legal recourse to have it banned, which it remains to this day. Between the Italian film festival screening and the completion of Lollobrigida's legal proceedings, the film did have one broadcast on German television (with German subtitles), and so despite the Lollobrigida ban, bootleg recordings of this broadcast circulate to this day.

Contents

1 Reception 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

Reception[edit] After it screened at the Venice Film Festival, film critic Nigel Andrews called the film "an inspired piece of editing charlatanry as a Welles growling out questions from a New York studio pretends to be interviewing Vittorio de Sica and others in sunny Italy. The piece is filmed with whirlwind wit, revolving atlases and snatches of the Harry Lime theme."[1] See also[edit]

List of American films of 1958

References[edit]

^ Andrews, Nigel, "Down and Out On the Adriatic". Financial Times, September 6, 1986.

Bazin, Andre: Orson Welles: A Critical View. Foreword by François Truffaut; profile by Jean Cocteau; translated from the French by Jonathan Rosenbaum. Harper & Row, 1978. Welles, Orson, and Bogdanovich, Peter: This is Orson Welles. Jonathan Rosenbaum, editor. HarperCollins, 1992; reprinted by DaCapo, 1998.

External links[edit]

Portrait of Gina on IMDb

v t e

Orson Welles

Filmography Radio credits Theatre credits Discography Bibliography Awards and nominations

Feature films

Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane
(1941) The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) The Stranger (1946) The Lady from Shanghai
The Lady from Shanghai
(1947) Macbeth (1948) Othello (1951) Mr. Arkadin
Mr. Arkadin
(1955) Touch of Evil
Touch of Evil
(1958) The Trial (1962) Chimes at Midnight
Chimes at Midnight
(1965) The Immortal Story
The Immortal Story
(1968) F for Fake
F for Fake
(1974) Filming Othello
Filming Othello
(1979)

Shorts

Twelfth Night (1933) The Hearts of Age (1934) The Green Goddess (lost film) (1939) Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane
trailer (1940) Around the World (lost film) (1946) The Miracle of St. Anne (lost film) (1950) Magic Trick (1953) The Dominici Affair (1955) Portrait of Gina (1958) An Evening with Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1970) Orson's Bag (1968–69)

incorporating Vienna (1968) The Merchant of Venice (1969) One Man Band, aka London (1968–71)

Moby Dick (1971) Orson Welles' Magic Show (1976–85) The Spirit of Charles Lindbergh (1984)

Unfinished films

Too Much Johnson
Too Much Johnson
(1938) It's All True (1942) Don Quixote (1957–69) The Heroine (lost film) (1967) The Deep (1967–70) The Other Side of the Wind
The Other Side of the Wind
(1970–76) Filming 'The Trial' (1981) The Dreamers (1980–82)

Television

Orson Welles' Sketch Book
Orson Welles' Sketch Book
(1955) Around the World with Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1955) Orson Welles
Orson Welles
and People (lost) (1956) The Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth
(1958) In the Land of Don Quixote (1964) The Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Show (1979)

Theatre

Marching Song (1932) Bright Lucifer Voodoo Macbeth
Voodoo Macbeth
(1936) Horse Eats Hat
Horse Eats Hat
(1936) Caesar (1937–38) Too Much Johnson
Too Much Johnson
(1938) Native Son (1941) The Mercury Wonder Show
The Mercury Wonder Show
(1943) Around the World (musical)
Around the World (musical)
(1946) Othello (1951) The Lady in the Ice (ballet) (1953) Moby Dick—Rehearsed (1955) Rhinoceros (1960)

Radio

Les Misérables (1937) The Shadow (1937–38) The Mercury Theatre on the Air
The Mercury Theatre on the Air
(including "The War of the Worlds") (1938) The Campbell Playhouse (1938–40) Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Show (1941–42) Ceiling Unlimited
Ceiling Unlimited
(1942–43) Hello Americans
Hello Americans
(1942–43) The Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Almanac (1944) This Is My Best (1945) Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Commentaries (1945–46) The Mercury Summer Theatre on the Air
The Mercury Summer Theatre on the Air
(1946) The Adventures of Harry Lime (1951–52) The Black Museum
The Black Museum
(1951–52)

Spoken-word recordings

The Happy Prince (1946) The Airborne Symphony (1966) The Begatting of the President (1970)

Books

This is Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1992) Les Bravades
Les Bravades
(1996)

Related

Mercury Theatre Frozen Peas Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Paul Masson adverts It's All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1993 documentary) Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(crater) Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(2014 documentary)

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