A Special Day  

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A Special Day (Italian: Una giornata particolare) is a 1977 Italian language film which tells the story of a housewife and her gay neighbor who stay at home in Rome on the day that Hitler visits Mussolini. It stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni and was directed by Ettore Scola. The film was a co-production between companies in Italy and Canada.

Historical background

On May 3 1938 Adolf Hitler arrives in Rome for a state visit. In protest Pope Pius XI has left Rome for the duration of the visit. To please the German „Führer“ and to strengthen ties to the Reich, the „Duce“ Benito Mussolini announces the issuance of anti-Semitic laws in Italy. Furthermore he declares the Alps to be the natural border for both countries’ respective spheres of influence. Hitler accepts the continuance of South Tyrol as a province of Italy. [1]


As her entire family (including her fascist husband) goes to the streets to follow Hitler's visit to Mussolini in Rome, an Italian housewife (Sophia Loren) stays home looking after some domestic tasks. Her apartment building is empty but for a man (Marcello Mastroianni) who seems repulsed by fascism (a strange attitude in those days).

The audience learns early in the movie that this man is a radio broadcaster who has lost his job and is about to be deported due to his political attitudes and his homosexuality. Unaware of this, the housewife flirts with him, as they meet by chance (or intentionally) in the empty building. During their conversation, the rather naïve and mainstream woman is surprised by his opinions and finally shocked when she realizes his sexual orientation.

Nonetheless, despite their fights and arguments, they eventually make love before he is taken away by the police and her family comes back home.

Plot keywords

parrot - suicide attempt - adultery - deportation - fascism - homosexual - homosexuality - housewife - laundry - nazi - gay - gay interest

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