Movie details

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Regia /Director: Franco Zeffirelli Soggetto/Subject: opera
Sceneggiatura/Screenplay: Franco Zeffirelli, John Mortimer
Interpreti/Cast: Cher, Judy Dench, Massimo Ghini,Joan Plowright , Paolo Seganti, Maggie Smith, Lly Toimlin, Charlie Lucas , Baird Wallace, Jack Basehart , Mino Bellei, Paul Chequer , Pino Colizzi , Gianna Giachetti, Tessa Pritchad , Claudio Spadaro, Michael Williams, Giovanni Nannini, Giacomo Gonnella, Christopher Tattanelli , Claudia Piccoli, A.Paula Jacobs, Bettine Milne, Hazel Parsons , Helen Stirling , Kathleen Doyle , Giselle Mathews, Chris Larkin,Clemente Abete, Roberto Farnesi,Allan William Pearce ,Herman Weiskopf,Benedetta Maggini, Giuseppe Landini,Giuseppe Rossi Borghesano , Marcellina Ruocco, Ferdinando Ferrini , Massimo Salvianti , Anita Caprioli .
Fotografia/Cinematography: David Watkin
Scenografia/Set Design: Carlo Centolavigna
Costumi /Costume Design: Jenny Beavan, Anna Anni, Alberto Spiazzi
Montaggio/ Editing: Tariq Anwar
Musica /Music: Alessio Vlad, Stefano Arnaldi
Suono/Sound: Bryan Simmons
Produzione/ Production:Medusa Film, Cattleya, Cineritmo, Film and General Productions, London
Distribuzione Intenazionale / World Sales: Universal Pictures Italia,
Country: Italy/ Anno/Year:1999
RunTime Durata: 117‘-
Dramma Drama (Classic Film) In collaborazione/ With collaboration Fondazione Museo Zeffirelli Firenze

Franco Zeffirelli (Firenze, 1923). With a diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) in Florence, he began as an actor interpreting the role of Filippo Garrone in the film L’Onorevole Angelina by Luigi Zampa. Later he worked as an assistant director with Luchino Visconti on the set of the film La Terra Trema. Two years later he debuted as a stage director with the comedy Lulu. Following the stage experience he began directing operas and he dedicated himself to this activity with continuity. Between the 40s and the 50s he worked side by side with great film directors such as Vittorio De Sica, Antonioni and Rossellini. The first film he directed was the sentimental comedy Camping in 1958. He showed a more personal style in The Taming of the Shrew in 1967 and in Romeo and Juliet in 1968 with an innovative and elegant transcription of Shakespeare’s works. Later his transpositions of literary works became famous like Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna, in 1972 and Amleto in 1990.His work is characterized by a strong romantic vein and a fine sensitivity for details and definition of characters. His unforgettable Gesu’ di Nazareth in 1977 made history in the movie world for portraying Jesus Christ as a human being. His historic opera productions with the most important opera singers of the time, are unforgettable, from Traviata with Maria Callas to Lucia di Lammermoor with Joan Sutherland, are productions that made history.
In 1993 he returns to directing with the film Storia di una Capinera, an adaptation from Giovanni Verga’s novel. Between 1996 and 1999 he directed the films Jane Eyre and the semi-autobiographical film Un te’ con Mussolini. In 1999 he directed the Ceremony of the Opening of the Holy Year for the Radio Television. Once more for the television, in 2002, he made Callas Forever inspired by the life of Maria Callas.
For the Metropolitan he directed Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Cunningham Park. By 2014, 800 performances have been shown at the MET (New York Metropolitan Opera) under the Zeffirelli’s direction. He also directed operas at the Arena in Verona, at the Teatro della Scala in Milan and at the Opera Theatre in Rome from 1996 to 2015. Among the most important we count Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Turandot and Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini and by Giuseppe Verdi. In 1917 the Museum Zeffirelli Foundation opened in Florence to accompany the visitors through the most memorable moments of Zeffirelli’s life and career.

We are in 1934. Some English ladies, called "the Scorpions" due to their cutting sense of humor, live in Florence and share a great love of Italy and its culture. They take Luca, the young son of a fabrics merchant, under their wing. The eccentric and generous Elsa arrives, an American, ex dancer and collector of paintings and young lovers. The years pass and the Fascist regime turns the country upside down. Lady Hester, widow of an English ambassador to Italy and leader of the Scorpions, asks for an audience with the Duce, who meets her over a cup of tea and assures her that the war won't happen.A few years later, war breaks out. Luca, who had been sent to Vienna by his father to study German, returns to Florence. Everything has changed, and the English ladies are interned at San Geminiano. Elsa, betrayed by one of her lovers, risks her life. Luca, who collaborates with the freedom movement, helps her to escape. The English ladies save the Torri of San Geminiano which have been mined by the Germans.