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Sunflower 12 rating

Sophia Loren searches for the husband she lost at the Russian Front (Marcello Mastroianni) in this sweeping romance epic with echoes of Doctor Zhivago.

Drama 1969 112 mins

Director: Vittorio De Sica


Oscar® winner, Sophia Loren (Two Women) and award- winning Marcello Mastroianni (La Dolce Vita 8 ½) are newlyweds separated by war who never give up on one another despite almost impossible odds. Mastroianni is the soldier left to die in the snow at the Russian front as of WWII ends. Loren is his bride who, refusing to believe that her ‘Missing In Action’ husband is dead, travels to the sunflower plains of Ukraine – seemingly to the ends of the earth – to search for the man she vowed she would never abandon.

Produced by Loren’s husband, Carlo Ponti, Sunflower recalls the veteran producer's Doctor Zhivago with its rich, wide-vista production of this heartfelt drama of war-torn lovers. Underpinned by Henry Mancini’s Oscar®-nominated rousing score and magnificently directed by one of Italy’s greatest filmmaker, Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves), who taps into his Neorealist roots to depict the human tragedy of war-displaced persons, as seen through the heroic determination of Loren’s character. At Ponti's insistence, both Loren and Mastroianni spoke English on set to enable the film's wider audience appeal. It's this English-language version that's presented here, as opposed to the Italian-language version in which both stars re-dubbed their dialogue.