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Film / Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

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Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is a 1963 film directed by Vittorio De Sica, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. It is a comedic Anthology Film consisting of three separate segments linked by nothing more than the presence of Loren and Mastroianni as stars. The three segments, all named after the character that Loren plays, are:

  • "Adelina": Adelina is the wife in a lower-class family in Naples. She is pinched for selling bootleg cigarettes, which is the only means of support for the family as her husband Carmine (Mastroianni) has been unemployed since being discharged from the army. The family can't pay the fine, and the cops come to arrest Adelina. However, due to a quirk in Italian law, she can't be arrested, because she's pregnant, and under the law she's immune from arrest for six months after the baby is born. This gives her an idea on how to stay out of jail.

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  • "Anna": Anna is the rich wife of a super-rich industrialist. She takes her lover, Renzo (Mastroianni) for a drive, but their romantic countryside drive is spoiled when Renzo has an accident with the car.

  • “Mara”: Mara is an upscale prostitute who entertains clients at her Rome apartment. One of her clients is Augusto (Mastroianni), the harried son of a wealthy businessman. A seminary student visiting his grandmother, who lives next door to Mara, is practically hypnotized by Mara's beauty. Eventually he decides to leave seminary to pursue her, and to join the French Foreign Legion if she rejects him. After the student's panicked grandmother begs Mara, Mara agrees to help steer the boy back to seminary. This keeps interrupting Augusto's sex with Mara.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow was the third de Sica film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, after Shoeshine and The Bicycle Thief. Seven years later he won a fourth award for The Garden of the Finzi-Continis.

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This work contains the following tropes:

  • Anthology Film
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Quite literally, as they keep Adelina out of prison.
  • Distracted by the Sexy
    • Anna starts feeling Renzo up after he gets behind the wheel of the car. This causes him to crash the car.
    • The seminary student keeps seeing the absurdly gorgeous Mara on the adjoining balcony, which eventually makes him decide to leave the Church.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Anna rear-ends not one, not two, but three cars as she's driving out of town with Renzo, and she nearly hits two construction workers in the street. (Apparently it was OK to just drive away after hitting another car in 1963 Italy.)
  • Extremely Short Timespan: "Anna" takes place over what seems to be less than an hour.
  • Fanservice: Loren is dressed rather modestly as a peasant woman in the first story, and much more fashionably but also modestly as a rich lady in the second story. But "Mara" is pretty much wall-to-wall Fanservice, with Mara scantily clad throughout.
  • A Friend in Need: The community rallies around Adelina after she finally has to go to jail, with every commercial transaction, including the money johns pay to prostitutes, including a special tax to raise the money to pay Adelina's fine.
  • Heroic Vow: Mara swears a vow to God that if they can get the student back to seminary, she'll go without sex for a week. Augusto is crushed when he finds out that he still won't be getting any sex.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Mara makes a million lire a month, which is something like $1600, but still a good living in 1963 Italy.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Mara couldn't be nicer.
  • Inner Monologue: "Anna" opens with Anna's inner monologue about all the stuff she has to do, as she drives through Milan to meet Renzo.
  • Loophole Abuse: Adelina finds out that Italian law makes her immune to arrest for fifteen months after getting pregnant—nine months for the pregnancy, six months to nurse the baby. She realizes that if she keeps getting pregnant, she'll never have to go to jail.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: "Adelina" ends this way.
  • Real Time: There are definitely some cuts while Anna is driving through town, but once she picks up Renzo on the outskirts of town, the rest of the middle story seems to take place in real time.
  • Serenade Your Lover: Carmine remembers how he did this when they were courting. Later he serenades Adelina from outside the prison.
  • Stocking Filler: Mara does this. Is it any wonder that the poor seminary student couldn't go back?
  • Too Many Babies: A relatively rare variant of this trope. Adelina isn't having all the babies at once a-la the Dionne quintuplets, but popping out a baby every 15 months starts to overcrowd their small apartment and put pressure on the family.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Just one way Mara unwittingly tortures the poor student.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: At one point Adelina keeps the paper certifying her pregnancy there.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: This movie is probably best remembered for the striptease at the end, done by Mara for Augosto after they succeed in getting the seminary student to return to his studies.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Anna is having an affair with Renzo while her husband is away.
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