The Hope College Knickerbocker Theatre will show four films featuring Sophia Loren during its “One Night Only” series every Monday from April 15 to May 6 at 7:30 p.m. The series will screen “Houseboat,” “Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow,” “Marriage, Italian Style” and “Arabesque.”
The Italian actress was first discovered during a beauty pageant, but it was her acting skills helped her succeed in both Italian films and Hollywood. She was nominated for two Academy Awards, winning for “Two Women.” Along with her Academy Award, she has been nominated for three Golden Globes and has won a Grammy Award.
“Houseboat” will open the series on April 15. The 1958 romantic-comedy stars Loren, Cary Grant, Martha Hyer and Harry Guardino. Tom Winters (Grant) is a wealthy widower who moves himself and his three unruly children to a houseboat and hires an Italian woman, Cinzia Zaccardi (Loren), as a housekeeper. Although she pretends to be a poor immigrant, Cinzia is the rebellious, spoiled daughter of a famous orchestra conductor. As complications increase, Cinzia’s relationship with Tom and children begins to grow.
The series will continue on on April 22 with “Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow,” a 1963 Italian comedy anthology starring Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The film tells three different story lines, beginning with “Adelina of Naples.” Adelina (Loren) supports her unemployed husband (Mastroianni) and child by selling black market cigarettes. When she fails to pay a fine, Adeline avoids incarceration by purposefully staying pregnant due to a law that says women cannot be imprisoned when pregnant or within six months after a pregnancy. In “Anna of Milan,” Anna Molteni (Loren), a spoiled wife of a successful businessman, and an artist, Renzo (Mastroianni), are on the cusp of an affair. However, after almost getting into a car accident, Anna and Renzo debate if an affair with each other is really what they want. The last story of the anthology, “Mara of Rome,” tells the story of a prostitute, Mara (Loren), who captures the attention of the young priest candidate Umberto (Mastroianni). As he becomes infatuated by her, Umberto decides to leave the seminary. Mara must find a way to convince him to continue pursuing priesthood. The film is in Italian with English subtitles.
“Marriage, Italian Style” will continue the series on April 29. The 1964 drama-romance stars Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Vito Moricone. A successful businessman named Domenico (Mastroianni) meets Filumena (Loren) at a brothel in Neapolitan. For years after, Filumena continues her relationship with Domenico as his mistress. He eventually gives her an apartment, and she works for him in his various businesses. As Domenico begins his plans to marry another woman, Filumena tricks him into marrying her instead. The film is in Italian with English subtitles.
Closing the series will be “Arabesque,” showing on May 6. The 1966 comedy-thriller stars Loren alongside Gregory Peck and Alan Badel. Professor David Pollock (Peck), an expert in ancient Arabic hieroglyphics, is hired by a Middle Eastern prime minister to infiltrate the organization of Beshraavi (Badel), who is involved in a plot against the prime minister. Beshraavi’s mistress, Yasmin Azir (Loren), becomes involved with David’s plans to stop Beshraavi. However, while David needs her help, Yasmin repeatedly double crosses him to the point where he does not know who she is working for.
Tickets are $5 and will be sold at the door.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.