I Chose Love (Mario Zampi, 1953)

Back to the roots

“I would have accepted anything to go to Venice!”

Marisa Pavan Aumont

Sweet Venice missed her little Italian lady so much she called her back to her native country, after not even two years had passed since Marisa had kissed Italy goodbye. Marisa, of course, couldn’t resist that call…

Strangely, the earliest a work of art appears in the chronology of an artist’s career, the more it usually attracts me! However, in this case, I absolutely did not rush to get my hands on this one, after finally realizing that the cute script, and Maria’s Italian voice, have indeed made me fall a little more in love with Italy.

A Communist in love

In spite of his clumsy attitude that seems to bother more than just one person, the weird protagonist finally finds the courage to sing his love for the one that got his heart, in a universe he also ended up falling in love with.

This clip illustrates those moments of peace that do not overwhelm a screenplay that is sometimes way too fast-paced to be appreciated (as both Marisa and I defend it!) It creates an atmosphere for us to enjoy a moment of simple, beautiful, and innocent tenderness, a moment which also reminds us of Marisa’s love for her country. (Yes, there is a lot of those moments in the film indeed, but at some point, a choice has to be made.)

Presentation of the film by Turi Vasile

Venice circa 1930…

Boris Popovic is travelling with his partners in order to deliver something quite precious. However, he ends up losing track of his way, and not just physically…! His risky step could cause him to be the target of both a good and a bad fate… The historical and political subject of the film being that strong, choosing the comic genre and a rather dynamic mise-en-scène is ostentatious, and provokes a certain atmosphere that sort of prevented me from enjoying the film to the fullest. Some artistic elements on the contrary were brilliant such as the settings, the contrast with the shadows and the lights, and above all, the music! This film is among the only ones in Marisa’s career in which she has a lead role, which could have been improved for her for that matter! Marisa acts with a touch of forced humor, which sometimes goes against the power of the character, as a result of the mise-en-scène I think. Apparently, the Italian dubbing of Marisa’s voice does not help either. I give it two stars.

Commentary on the film by Tatti Sanguineti

Marisa did enjoy her trip back to Italy to meet her relatives and friends again, but she was lent by Fox, and had to go back to the United States.


Author: Margaux Soumoy


Ho scelto l’amore

Direction: Mario Zampi

Release Date: 23 February 1953

Screenplay: Giorgio Prosperi, Vittorio Calvino, Achille Campanile, Renato Rascel, Mario Zampi

Origin: Story by Vittorio Calvino

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Renato Rascel (Boris Popovic), Marisa Pavan (Maria), Edoardo Passarelli (A sacristan), Margherita Bagni (The florist), Michele Abruzzo (Vitali), Gianni Rizzo, Lia Di Leo (Paola), Kiki Urbani, Paolo Panelli (The count’s son), Gino Cavalieri, Carlo Mazzarella (A young Communist), Pietro Tordi (A Communist), Ettore G. Mattia, Peppino De Martino, Manlio Busoni, Giulio Calì (The Republican), Dina Perbellini (A lady at the banquet), Cesco Baseggio (The violinist), Frederick Valk

Crew: Mauro Bolognini and Franco Morabito (Direction assistance), Vanda Tuzi (Distribution secretarial), Elsa Carnevali (Distribution secretarial assistance), Silvano Ippoliti and Guglielmo Lombardi (Scene shifting), Nello Renzi (Scene shifting assistance), Mario Gabbrielli (Production inspection), Adolfo Fabrizio (Production secretarial), Giorgio Tedeschi (Direction secretarial), Andreina Giglietti (Editing assistance), Eligio Trani (Special effects), Attilio Camarda (Hairdressing), Civirani (Photography), Gus Agosti (Direction assistance), Ennio Sensi (Sound), Romano Zampi (Editing), Mario Chiari (Interior design / Costume design), Piero Poletto (Interior design assistance), Marisa Crimi (Costume design assistance), Mario Albertelli and Rodolfo Lombardi (Cinematography), Nicola Morabito (Production direction), Roman Vlad (Music), Edizioni musicali Casa NostraAssociazione Orchestra da Camera di Roma

Technical details

Production Co: Film Costellazione

Country: Italy

Filming Locations: Cinecittà Studios, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Language: Italian

Release Dates: 17 March 1954 (France), 20 August 1956 (Portugal)

Also Known AsPrefiero la libertad (Argentine), J’ai choisi l’amour (France), Escolhi o Amor (Portugal), I Chose Love(World-wide (English title))

Runtime: 100min


Sound Mix: Mono (Western Electric)

Color: Black and White

Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1

DVD of the film found on Amazon by Margaux Soumoy

Pseudonym of the seller: Vecosell

Location of the DVD: Italy

Shipping service: Poste Italiane

Date of the order: 23 March 2016