Aida (1953 film)

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Aida Loren1.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Clemente Fracassi
Produced by Gregor Rabinovitch
Federico Teti
Written by Clemente Fracassi
Antonio Ghislanzoni (libretto)
Starringactor = (a)
singer = (s)
Sophia Loren (a)
Renata Tebaldi (s)
Lois Maxwell (a)
Ebe Stignani (s)
Luciano Della Marra (a)
Giuseppe Campora (s)
Afro Poli (a)
Gino Bechi (s)
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Cinematography Piero Portalupi
Edited by Mario Bonotti
Distributed by CEI Incom
I.F.E. Releasing Corporation
Release date
23 October 1953 (Italy)
8 October 1954 (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Aida is a 1953 Italian film version of the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. It was directed by Clemente Fracassi and produced by Gregor Rabinovitch and Federico Teti. The screenplay was adapted by Fracassi, Carlo Castelli, Anna Gobbi and Giorgio Salviucci from the libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. The cinematography was by Piero Portalupi, the production design by Flavio Mogherini and the costume design by Maria De Matteis. The Italian State Radio Orchestra was conducted by Giuseppe Morelli, the ballet was choreographed by Margherita Wallmann.

The year 1953 in film involved some significant events.

Cinema of Italy

The Cinema of Italy comprises the films made within Italy or by Italian directors. The first Italian director is considered to be Vittorio Calcina, a collaborator of the Lumière Brothers, who filmed Pope Leo XIII in 1896. Since its beginning, Italian cinema has influenced film movements worldwide. As of 2018, Italian films have won 14 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film as well as 12 Palmes d'Or, one Academy Award for Best Picture and many Golden Lions and Golden Bears.

<i>Aida</i> opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi

Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was commissioned by Cairo's Khedivial Opera House and had its première there on 24 December 1871, in a performance conducted by Giovanni Bottesini. Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world; at New York's Metropolitan Opera alone, Aida has been sung more than 1,100 times since 1886. Ghislanzoni's scheme follows a scenario often attributed to the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, but Verdi biographer Mary Jane Phillips-Matz argues that the source is actually Temistocle Solera.


The film was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. [1]

1987 Cannes Film Festival

The 40th Cannes Film Festival was held from 7 to 19 May 1987. The Palme d'Or went to the Sous le soleil de Satan by Maurice Pialat, a choice which was considered "highly controversial" and the prize was given under the jeers of the public. Pialat is quoted to have retorted "You don’t like me? Well, let me tell you that I don’t like you either!"


This is the desperate love story of an Ethiopian slave Aida (Sophia Loren) staying in the then capital of Egypt Memphis with the young Egyptian supreme commander Radames (Luciano). Aida’s mistress, Amneris (Lois Maxwell), the daughter of the pharaoh is too in love with Radames. Aida doesn’t know how to hide her love, and Amneris is jealous of her because of her beauty and simplicity.

On the war with the Ethiopians, Egypt will concur and the pharaoh will declare the marriage of his daughter with Radames. Radames will come to meet Aida, perhaps for the last time! Aida doesn’t know what to do, or whether she will get her love back?


Sophia Loren Italian actress

Sofia Villani Scicolone,, known professionally as Sophia Loren, is an Italian film actress and singer. Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons after entering a beauty pageant, Loren began her film career in 1950 at age 16. She appeared in several bit parts and minor roles in the early part of the decade, until her five-picture contract with Paramount in 1956 launched her international career. Notable film appearances around this time include The Pride and the Passion, Houseboat, and It Started in Naples.

Lois Maxwell Canadian actress

Lois Ruth Maxwell was a Canadian actress, best known for her portrayal of Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 James Bond films (1962–1985). She was the first actress to play the part. The films in which she played Miss Moneypenny were Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985).

Afro Poli was an Italian operatic baritone, particularly associated with the Italian repertory.

The singing voices were provided by Renata Tebaldi (Aida), Ebe Stignani (Amneris), Giuseppe Campora (Radamès), Gino Bechi (Amonasro) and Giulio Neri (Ramfis). Yvette Chauviré and Léonide Massine are the dancers in the ballet with the Rome Opera Ballet.

Renata Tebaldi Italian opera singer

Renata Ersilia Clotilde Tebaldi was an Italian lirico-spinto soprano popular in the post-war period. Among the most beloved opera singers, she has been said to have possessed one of the most beautiful voices of the 20th century, a voice that was focused primarily on the verismo roles of the lyric and dramatic repertoires.

Ebe Stignani was an Italian opera singer, who was pre-eminent in the dramatic mezzo-soprano roles of the Italian repertoire during a stage career of more than thirty years.

Giuseppe Campora Italian opera singer

Giuseppe Campora was an Italian operatic tenor.

Production notes

Renata Tebaldi was originally cast to play Aida, but she decided not to appear in the film. Gina Lollobrigida was also considered for the role, before Sophia Loren was cast. Loren claimed Lollobrigida turned down the part because Lollobrigida did not want to be dubbed by Renata Tebaldi, so Sophia took the role saying “I couldn’t afford to be so proud”. [2] This was Loren's first leading role and her performance was met with critical acclaim for her role as Aida.

Gina Lollobrigida Italian actress

Luigina "Gina" Lollobrigida is an Italian actress, photojournalist and sculptor. She was one of the highest profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was an international sex symbol.

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