Golden Madonna

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Golden Madonna
Golden Madonna (1949 film).jpg
Italian theatrical poster
Directed by Luigi Carpentieri
Ladislao Vajda
Written by Dudley Leslie
Aimée Stuart
Screenplay by Ákos Tolnay
Story byDorothy Hope
Produced bySaverio D'Amico
John Stafford
Starring Phyllis Calvert
Tullio Carminati
Michael Rennie
Cinematography Anchise Brizzi
Otello Martelli
Edited byCarmen Belaieff
Music byFernando Ludovico Lunghi
Pendennis Productions
Produttore Films Internazionali
Distributed by Variety Distribution
Release dates
  • 1949 (1949)(Italy)
  • April 1949 (1949-04)(UK)
  • 15 September 1949 (1949-09-15)(US)
Running time
88 minutes
United Kingdom

Golden Madonna (Italian: La madonnina d'oro) is a 1949 British-Italian drama film directed by Luigi Carpentieri [1] and Ladislao Vajda and starring Phyllis Calvert, Tullio Carminati and Michael Rennie. [2] [3] It was considered a lost film and was on the BFI 75 Most Wanted list, until a copy was loaned to the British Film Institute by Cohen Media. [4] [5] Filmed on location, a group of original negatives and contact prints [6] taken by Francis Goodman are in the possession of London's National Portrait Gallery.


The film's sets were designed by the art director Guido Fiorini.


Patricia, a young British woman inherits an estate in rural Italy, and gives up her job as a schoolteacher. Soon after she arrives she offends the village where she now plans to live by accidentally throwing away a sacred painting of the Madonna which they consider to be lucky and a protector of the community. To redeem herself she goes out in search of the painting with the assistance of a British ex-army Captain, hoping to return in to the village.

A romance begins between her and the Captain, but a gang of street urchins steal his money. The Captain has painted over the Madonna with his own painting of The Laughing Cavalier before it disappeared.

In Naples she is first cheated by Johnny Lester, a British Spiv, and his tiny Italian gangster sidekick , but later receives his help to steal back the painting from a wealthy collector, Julian Migone, who has taken the Madonna to his cliff-top villa on Capri.

Patricia, pretending to be a rich countess, travels alone to Capri by boat but the moneyless Captain is given a ticket by one of the young Naples street urchins. She plays along with Migone's attempt to seduce her in order to get the painting back.

She and the Captain are stopped by police when trying to return on the boat, and their luggage is searched, but the painting has disappeared. It has been stolen by Johnny who successfully gets it back to the mainland.

Patricia returns the painting to the church where it is received with much ceremony.


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  1. "La Madonnina d'oro". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  2. "Golden Madonna". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  3. "The Golden Madonna (1949) - Ladislao Vajda - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  4. "BFI Most Wanted" . Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  5. "Golden Madonna / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  6. "Golden Madonna contact prints in the National Portrait Gallery". National Portrait Gallery . Retrieved 29 May 2014.