La signora senza camelie (The Lady without Camelias). 1953. Italy/France. Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Screenplay by Antonioni, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Francesco Maselli, Pier Maria Pasinetti. With Lucia Bosè, Gino Cervi, Andrea Checchi. 35mm. In Italian; English subtitles. 101 min.
After Gina Lollobrigida turned down the leading role and Sophia Loren, then an unknown extra on the Cinecittà lot, was passed over for it, Lucia Bosè was eventually cast as the beauty contest winner who finds herself “caught up in the machinery of star creation” (Andrew Tudor), and became another compellingly tragic figure in Antonioni’s gallery of false idols.