Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, released in 1963, stars Sophia Loren, and Marcello Mastroianni (their 7th collaboration). This Italian comedy anthology is a collection of 3 short romantic comedies about couples in different parts of Italy. Loren plays 3 very different women, all using their sexuality as a means to getting what they want, while Mastroianni plays 3 very different men, all enchanted by the attentions of beautiful women. Set in 1954:
Adelina of Naples is set in a working class neighborhood. Loren supports her husband (Mastroianni) by selling black market cigarettes. She is fined and threatened with imprisonment if she does not pay her fine. She learns that women cannot be imprisoned if pregnant or within 6 months after giving birth. Therefore, she embarks upon a journey to give birth to seven children in eight years.
Anna of Rome, married to a mega-industrialist, has a poor lover (Mastroianni). While driving in her husband’s Rolls Royce, she must choose what makes her happiest- the Rolls or her lover. His infatuation is tested by a near tragedy when she expresses no regret when almost running over a child. and crashes the car.
Mara of Rome, is a fiery prostitute working from her apartment, serving a variety of high class clients. She seeks the help of a client (Mastroianni) the wealthy, powerful and neurotic son of a Bologna industrialist, to spurn the advances of her elderly neighbor’s infatuated grandson who is studying for the priesthood. In a convoluted celibacy trial, Loren rewards him with a strip tease but refuses to go to bed with him. The striptease scene has become a cult classic: pure elegance, every movement and expression mastered to perfection, like a stage show. The scene was choreographed by Jacques Ruet, who coaxed the best out of a very shy Loren.
Directed by Vittorio DeSica, the screenplay was a collaboration between DeSica, Cesar Zavatini, Eduardo de Fillippo, Isabella Quarantotti, Bella Billa, Lorenza Zanusca. In 1965, the 37th Academy Awards, the film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.