At the beginning of the nineteen thirties a new star appeared in the skies of fascist-led Italy, a nineteen-year-old Russian-born named Assia Norris, soon to be nicknamed the country's sweetheart. Fresh and charming, she drew lots of fans into theaters. Not that the comedies she played in were masterpieces: they were in fact harmless and a bit artificial but constituted welcome escapism from the strange times the Italians were living. Not that Assia Noris was the greatest actress ever either: she never really changed face expressions, when she was supposed to cry she shed crocodile tears plus she could not go beyond the superficiality of the characters she was given to play. But how sizzling she was, how cute she was and what beautiful costumes and hats she wore! And if most of her films have not aged well the ones she made for her husband Mario Camerini, most of the time with heartthrob Vittorio De Sica, ("Il Signor Max", "Batticuore", "Grandi Magazzini") stand the test of time better. The queen of "telefoni bianchi" also appeared in two good French films during the war, Louis Daquin's "Le voyageur de la Toussaint" and Abel Gance's "Le Capitaine Fracasse". Then Mussolini suddenly disappeared from the historical scene. At the same time, Assia Noris' star started waning. The new Italy wanted new sweethearts, or, even better, new seductresses.
- Colette Mauvoisin
- Loletta Festa
- Lauretta Campo
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