More than five years ago, I posted a scan of a much-folded topless centerfold photo of a young and rather perky Sophia Loren. A helpful commenter partially identified the movie and volunteered that the topless scenes were only in the French release, but I was not the porn researcher then that I am now, and I never followed up.
Well, it’s time to do that.
First of all, here’s a better-quality version of that same semi-nude photo, minus creases and branding:
The movie, it turns out, was Era lui… sì! sì! from 1951. (That means “It’s him… Yes! Yes!”) It turns out that they took quite a few different versions of the topless publicity shots, with slightly different posings, against that same background. Most were in black and white (at least the versions that have been published) like this one:
Exceptions exist, like this magazine spread (note the staple), but the rather-fanciful color palette makes one wonder about subsequent colorization:
The caption to this next pair of shots (which appear to be scanned from a magazine) offers some confirmation of the “for the French version of the movie” tale, quoting Sophia Loren as saying:
“For the French version, they wanted me to have my chest bare. I did not want to but … I was hungry. After the scene, they come and say they must do some still pictures of me with nothing on top. I thought it had to be.”
Note the bikinis in the bottom “tame” version of the shot above. They appear to have been the costume for the non-French version of the actual movie, also, as shown in this harem-girls scene:
Shall we take a moment at this time to sympathize with the actors playing the two harem guards standing there in the background? “I got a bit part, but nobody will ever see me — I’m standing in the background next to the hookah behind a bunch of half-naked harem girls, and they are all sooo hot!” “Shit, man, you might as well get cast as a potted plant!”
Anyway, in case you were wishing that harem scene I just showed you didn’t have the stupid flowery bikinis, don’t worry. We’ve got you (un)covered:
Now, how’s that for a more-adequate exposition of the whole “Sophia Loren topless in an old movie” blog post topic?
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