10 Classic Italian Films

Tuesday, July 26 by Annette Smith

Fans of Italian cinema will enjoy these ten classic Italian films from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. From sexy romantic comedies and historical dramas, to famous Spaghetti westerns and sinister cult thrillers, this list has something for every lover of Italian movies

  1. “The Bird With The Crystal Plumage.” The list of Italian classics starts with “The Bird With The Crystal  Plumage.” In this 1970 horror film, a writer who witnessed a murder attempt is stalked by a serial killer.  Directed by Dario Argento, this cult thriller stars Tony Musante, Enrico Maria Salerno, and Suzy Kendall.
  2. “Blood And Black Lace.” Fans of Italian cult classics will also enjoy watching “Blood And Black Lace.” This 1964 horror flick centers on a serial killer dressed in black, who stalks and murders fashion models. Directed by Mario Bava, the film stars Cameron Mitchell, Thomas Reiner, and Eva Bartok.
  3. "The Colossus Of Rhodes.” “The Colossus Of Rhodes” is a 1961 adventure film, not exactly a gladiator movie but certainly an similar-type epic. The historical drama follows the story of an Athenian war hero drawn into two separate plots to overthrow a king. Lea Massari, Georges Marchal, and Rory Calhoun star in this classic Sergio Leone film.
  4. “Divorce: Italian Style.” Check out “Divorce: Italian Style” for vintage Italian comedy. When a married Sicilian falls in love with his cousin and decides to marry her, he devises a plan to kill his wife. This award-winning 1961 film stars Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, and Stefania Sandrelli.
  5. “A Fistful Of Dollars.” “A Fistful Of Dollars” is a 1964 Sergio Leone film. Part of the well-known “Dollars Trilogy,” it centers on a gunfighter who plays two rival families against each other. Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, and Marianne Koch star in this Italian cult classic.
  6. “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.” Another installment in the “Dollars Trilogy,” “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” is likely the best-known Spaghetti western. The 1966 film follows three bounty hunters in a race to fin buried treasure in an isolated Mexican cemetery. Directed by Sergio Leone, the film stars Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach.
  7. “I Vitelloni.” “I Vitelloni” is a 1953 Italian comedy film. The award-winner examines five young Italian men at the crucial moments in their lives. Directed by the legendary Federico Fellini, this comic drama stars Alberto Sordi, Franco Interlenghi, and Franco Fabrizi.
  8. “Marriage: Italian Style.” “Marriage: Italian Style” is a 1964 Italian comedy film. When a businessman plans to marry another woman, his mistress of several years pretends to be on her deathbed in order to get him to marry her before she dies.  Marcello Mastroianni, Adlo Puglisi, and sexy Sophia Loren star in this award-winning classic.
  9. “Once Upon A Time In The West.” Another Sergio Leone film, “Once Upon A Time In The West” has become a cult classic. The 1968 movie follows a mysterious harmonica-playing stranger and a notorious desperado who team up to protect a lovely widow from an assassin hired by the railroad. Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, and Claudia Cardinale star in this Italian classic.
  10. “Two Nights With Cleopatra.” Rounding out the list of classic Italian films is “Two Nights With Cleopatra,” a 1953 comedy-drama. Sophia Loren has dual roles in the film–she stars as Queen of the Nile and as a beautiful slave girl. Alberto Sordi and Paul Muller also star in this Italian classic, directed by Mario Mattoli. 
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