Blu-ray, DVD Release: A Special Day

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 13, 2015
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion


Italian cinema dream team Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni are cast against glamorous type and deliver two of the finest performances of their careers in the 1977 drama A Special Day, a moving, quietly subversive drama from Ettore Scola (The Family).

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in A Special Day

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in A Special Day

Though it’s set in Rome on the historic day in 1938 when Benito Mussolini and the city first rolled out the red carpet for Adolf Hitler, the film takes place entirely in a working-class apartment building, where an unexpected friendship blossoms between a pair of people who haven’t joined the festivities: a conservative housewife and mother tending to her domestic duties and a liberal radio broadcaster awaiting deportation.

Scola paints an exquisite portrait in sepia tones in this story of two individuals helpless in the face of fascism’s rise.

Mastroianni and Loren formed a winning screen couple, starring in a number of films before their final collaboration in A Special Day, including Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), Marriage Italian Style (1964), Sunflowers (1969) and The Priest’s Wife (1970).

Presented in Italian with English subtitles, Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray editions contain the following:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Ettore Scola, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Scola and actor Sophia Loren
  • Two 1977 episodes of The Dick Cavett Showfeaturing Loren and actor Marcello Mastroianni
    • Trailer
    • New English subtitle translation
    • An essay by critic Deborah Young
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.