It’s an italian thing, I know. But I’m sure that many of you have an idea of what, or better who, was Totò. He could be considered one of the most important symbol of italian cinema and theatre. Totò (his real name was Antonio de Curtis ) was able to summarise in his body language and his words a whole world where comicality and tragedy, life and problems were mixed up…… that was, in other words, the italian post-war situation.
Malafemmena was written in 1951 and it was played by singers like:Antonio Basurto, Mario Abbate and Giacomo Rondinella.One of the most excting and stunning performance was, however, that by the great Claudio Villa, a master of italian music. It’s essential to remember the movie Totò, Peppino e…la malafemmina by Camillo Mastrocinque (1956) where it is played by Teddy Reno.
The song is written in dialect; I remember myself as a child, with my grandfather next to me who helped me to understand all the words of this sweet and melancholic poem. I was not able to taste all the colours of this beatiful song but I was completely fascinated.
This song created a great gossip! For a long time, It was thought that Totò wrote it for the actress Silvana Pampanini (who he met on the stage of 47 morto che parla),was refused his wedding proposal. In reality it was discovered that Totò dedicated the song to his wife that had broken an important promise: in fact, the title means literaly “dishonest woman””