To see Sophia Loren smile is an on-screen treasure. To see her weep can tear down even the coldest of hearts.


For me Sophia is one of those go to ladies when I think of the most beautiful women to ever grace the screen. I kind of knew her story through reading books and bios of other stars that she came in contact with over the years but hadn’t read anything devoted to her story alone. Might as well start with a book that she just recently penned herself.

It’s the kind of book that struck me as honest and allowed me into her story through the good years and some of the bad. I’m not sure I knew she was essentially a fatherless child who along with her Mother and younger sister struggled through the poverty of the war years shuffling form one home to another.

She chronicles her rise from a young beauty slowly making her way in the Italian cinema and landing smaller roles before her rise in popularity overseas. She speaks lovingly of her deceased husband Carlo Ponti who guided much of her career as well as being a major producer world wide. For those wanting to know more of the Cary Grant-Sophia story, it’s in here as well.

two women

She covers some of her films including her Oscar winning role in Two Women to mentioning many of her costars from the Duke to Anthony Quinn and Alan Ladd to Richard Burton. If you’re looking for some disparaging comments about her co-stars they are not to be had here. It’s an upbeat book.

Naturally she goes into the films made with Vittorio De Sica and her frequent collaborator and co-star Marcello Mastroianni. There story alone could perhaps be a follow up book for Sophia if she chose to write more on their films together. I love the quote she passes on from Marcello’s mother when he would make a film with another leading lady. “Marce, what happened? Did you have an argument with Sophia?”


She touches on the death of Marilyn Monroe and the effect it had on her. It’s a good insight as to what Sophia was trying not to allow herself to become. Being viewed as nothing more than a sexual icon and losing one’s way.

Her love of all things Italian comes shining through despite having issues with her homeland over the course of her lifetime that created personal problems involving her marriage to Carlo and actually serving time in prison which I had no idea of. Now she takes pride in her sons and being a grandmother spending hours in the kitchen cooking up traditional meals. If you happen to read this Sophia, I am available for an authentic Italian meal in your kitchen anytime.

Like most “film buffs” I was hoping to hear a little more of some of her co-stars that I have followed over the years that don’t get any mention. Stars like James Coburn who teamed with her in Firepower and I was a bit surprised that nothing was mentioned about joining Matthau and Lemmon in the Grumpy Old Men sequel. I guess that’s the movie guy in me wanting to know more about the behind the scenes stories and such.

A good read that is full of life and love from the beauty that is Sophia. Both inside and out.