Frame from The Talented Mr Ripley

The relationship between the largest of the islands of the Gulf of Naples, also known as Green Island, and the world of cinema (as well as that of art, culture, and entertainment in general) is longlasting and intimate. Even if directors such as Vittorio De Sica, René Clement, Billy Wilder, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Mario Camerini, Anthony Minghella, F. Gary Gray, and Leonardo Pieraccioni directed movies that were completely different from one another, they all found in the locations offered by Ischia unique suggestions and atmospheres.

However, this magical island, in the years, has been greatly loved not only as a shooting location. Culture, celebrities, tourism, and international attention found a favorable mixing ground on this stretch of land in the Mediterranean Sea that offers a mild climate, beautiful scenery, ‘miraculous’ waters, and the quiet privacy that the crazy Capri cannot guarantee. Initially, it was an exclusive destination for foreign tourists, but also for Luchino Visconti – one of the greatest Italian directors of the twentieth century -, Lawrence Olivier – who was guest of William Walton -, Alida Valli, and Maria Callas, all enjoying their holidays in privacy.

Backstage from My Brilliant Friend

Then, in the mid-1950s, everything changed with the arrival of the famous publisher and film producer Angelo Rizzoli, who began to invite all the celebrities of the time: John Wayne, William Holden, Esther Williams, Totò, Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Luigi Comencini, Gina Lollobrigida, Alberto Sordi, Vittorio Gassman, Silvana Mangano, Steve Reeves, Silvana Pampanini, Paolo Stoppa, Walter Chiari, etc. Even the legendary Charlie Chaplin rode a motorbike on the narrow roads of the island and decided to present the world premiere of ‘A king in New York’ there. In 1963, Ischia worked its romantic charm also on Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton who arrived there to film ‘Cleopatra’ and ended up falling in love.
More recently, director Anthony Minghella chose the island to be the set for his ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley‘, like  René Clément had already done 30 years earlier for ‘Crime in the Sun’, both bringing on the big screen Patricia Highsmith’s criminal novel. Gabriele Muccino filmed there ‘There Is No Place Like Home‘ and, considering that the author explicitly mentions Ischia in its novel, it was the natural location for the TV series ‘My Brilliant Friend‘. Even some scenes of ‘Men In Black: International‘ have been filmed on this glorious island.

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