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Marcello Mastroianni was born on 28th of September 1924 and till the day he died, on 19th of December 1996, he would become one of the biggest actors in the History of Cinema. According to IMDb, he has worked in 148 movies, from very small roles ones till him being the protagonist. It would be impossible to choose Marcello Mastroianni’s top films, because he was excellent in everything he played, whether in a comedic or dramatic role, but we will do our best to choose his top-10 performances.

And before we begin with our top-10, let’s make some honorary mentions with movies you should definitely enjoy Marcello Mastroianni. “White Nights”, directed by Lucchino Visconti and released in 1957, is a novel based on a story by Fyodor Dostoevsky with the same title. “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, by Vittorio de SIca in 1963, “Marriage Italian Style” again by de Sica in 1964 and “Casanova 70” by Mario Monicelli and released in 1965 are only some of the great movies he participated during the 1960’s.

Before his top-10 films, we should also include in our honorary mentions the following films:
“Atrocious Tales of Love and Death” (1979) – Sergio Corbucci
“City of Women” (1980) – Federico Fellini
“The Beekeeper” (1986) – Theo Angelopoulos
“Dark Eyes” (1987) – Nikita Mikhalkov
“One Hundred and One Nights” (1995) – Agnès Varda

Marcello Mastroianni’s top-10:

10) The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991) – Theo Angelopoulos

The second collaboration between Mastroianni and Angelopoulos (after “The Beekeeper” in 1986), was more fruitful. Mastroianni plays the role of a politician who suddenly disappears from the political life and lives in a small town, watching the problems that refugees have to deal with and trying to help as he can. Mastroianni will work again together with Jeanne Moreau after “La Notte” (see below).

9) Big Deal on Madonna Street (“I Sogli Ignoti” the original title) (1958) – Mario Monicelli

The only movie from our top-10 where Marcello is not the main protagonist, but one of the five actors who star in this excellent comedy by Mario Monicelli. Vittorio Gassman gained huge recognition after this film, but Marcello also made it clear that he can be ideal both on comedy and drama.

8) The Grand Bouffe (1973) – Marco Ferreri

A group of friends gather to eat till death. Only this sentence can make anyone curious to watch this film. It is an allegory to the consumerist western society and the decadence of the bourgeoisie, a class that Ferreri clearly despised. And Marcello was a key role for the success of this film, not on its time, but afterwards, as the movie is now considered a cult masterpiece.

7) The Pizza Triangle (1970) – Ettore Scola

Marcello Mastroianni is Oreste, a construction worker, who falls in love with Monica Vitti, who portrays a florist, Adelaide. Things get complicated when Giancarlo Giannini, as Nello, tries also to seduce Adelaide. And they decide to live all together. Later on, attempted suicides. And death. All that in a comedy. And Marcello shines again.

6) Divorce Italian Style (1961) – Pietro Germi

One of the finest comedies you will ever see. Since divorce was illegal at that time in Italy, Marcello fantasizes about how to get rid of his wife. In so many dark, yet funny, ways.

5) La Notte (1961) – Michelangelo Antonioni

In the same year that Mastroianni portrayed one of the funniest characters in a movie, he also delivered one extraordinary performance in a dramatic movie. Part of Antonioni’s “Alienation trilogy” (“L’Aventura” was the first and “L’eclisse” the third), Marcello is Giovanni, a writer who visits at hospital along with his wife, Lidia (Jeanne Moreau), and then we follow their life for a day and a night.

4) A Special Day (1977) – Ettore Scola

Both Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni are spectacular in this movie. A period drama about fascist Italy. A day in the life of a housewife, who meets her strange neighbour. Who is homosexual and anti-fascist. Scola leaves space to his two stars to explore their dynamics. And they do it magnificently. Mastroianni and Loren had met several times in movies and their collaboration was always outstanding. But in this movie, they were unique.

3) Allonsanfàn (1974) – Paolo & Vittorio Taviani

Mastroianni worked with the most important Italian directors (and not only). He participated in many political movies (as The Bundle Art, we believe that every film is political, but that’s another topic), but he excelled himself in this one. Marcello is Fulvio, a political prisoner who fought for Italy and finally is free. He returns to his family, who thought him dead. He wants to live a peaceful life, but his past comrades ask his help. And he is always there, ready to betray them. With a smile in his face. The Taviani brothers could never find a better Fulvio than Marcello.

2) La Dolce Vita (1960) – Federico Fellini

The first collaboration between Marcello Mastroianni and Federico Fellini comes in 1960, with “La Dolce Vita”. And this movie was a smash hit. Following seven days and nights of Marcello Rubini, a journalist who wants to find the sweet life of Rome. He will discover the emptiness of the bourgeoisie, the hard life of the working class, the fast happiness in the arms of young women and the death around. This movie won the Palme d’Or in Cannes and it was the first of the six movies that Fellini and Mastroianni did together.

1) 8 1/2 (1963) – Federico Fellini

This is the best movie ever made. Period. Not only in the Italian Cinema. In the History of Italian Cinema. And a big part for that is because of Marcello. We will not even argue for that. If you have seen the movie, we are sure that you agree with us. If not, watch the trailer and go watch it now:

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