Lady Liberty (film)

Lady Liberty (Italian: La mortadella) is a 1971 Italian-French comedy film directed by Mario Monicelli and starring Sophia Loren, William Devane, Gigi Proietti, Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito and Edward Herrmann in his film debut.[1]

Lady Liberty
Directed byMario Monicelli
Produced byCarlo Ponti
Written byLeonard Melfi
Suso Cecchi D'Amico
Don Carlos Dunaway
Ring Lardner, Jr. (uncredited)
StarringSophia Loren
William Devane
Gigi Proietti
Susan Sarandon
Danny DeVito
Music byRon-Lucio Dalla
CinematographyAlfio Contini
Edited byRuggero Mastroianni
Compagnia Cinematografica Champion
Les Films Concordia
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
December 23, 1971 (Italy) June 7, 1972 (USA)
Running time
97 minutes

It was shot at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome and on location in Emilia-Romagna and New York. The film's sets were designed by the art director Mario Garbuglia.

Plot summary

Maddalena Ciarrapico arrives in New York City from Italy to get married and brings her fiancé a gift of mortadella (large Italian pork sausage) from her co-workers at the sausage factory where she used to work. But she is refused permission to bring the mortadella into the country because of the ban on meat that may contain food-borne diseases.[2] An indignant Maddalena refuses to hand the sausage over, staying in the customs office at the airport, sparking a diplomatic incident in which she attracts widespread sympathy and support.



A song by Harry Nilsson, "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City," was included in the movie.


The New York Times was scathing of the film, observing "Probably no other woman has so triumphantly survived as many rotten movies in such a short space of time as Sophia Loren". Although "the farcical premise is promising" it was "a comedy that manages to be both too serious and not serious enough and that, at no point matches the level of the humor and intelligence of its principal performance". It also questioned "the grindingly bleak New York settings in which so much of the film is set."[3]


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