This early Luchno Visconti drama stars Anna Magnani as an overbearing stage mother. Magnani's daughter (Tina Apicella) has zero talent, but Magnani raises such a ruckus at the studio after the girl's abortive screen test that the producers eventually find work for the girl. By this point, Magnani has renounced show business and, with daughter in tow, returns to her patient husband, who has been waiting for his wife to get her dreams of vicarious stardom out of her system. Based on a story by famed Italian scenarist (and frequent Fellini collaborator) Cesar Zavattini, Bellissima seems too trivial a story to be given the tender loving care provided by Visconti. Originally released at 130 minutes, the film was honed down to 90 minutes for American consumption.
by Hal Erickson synopsis