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 existed 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, here’s a better-quality version of that same semi-nude photo, minus creases and branding:

Sophia Loren topless in a 1950s movie

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:

Sophia Loren and costars, topless/naked in a French version of an Italian movie

Exceptions exist, like this magazine spread (note the staple). However, the rather-fanciful color palette makes one wonder about subsequent colorization:

color photo of topless Sophia Loren and her semi-nude costars

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.”

sophia loren topless and describing how she got that way

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, too. See this harem-girls scene:

Sophia Loren in a harem scene wearing a floral bikini

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:

Sophia Loren and her harem slavegirl homies topless and lounging semi-nude

Sophia Loren topless in nude harem girls scene

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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