Il Divo Dei Poveri: Totó’s Journey from Rags to Fame

Master's Thesis


In an age of highly refined special effects and manicured filmic experiences, Totò’s artistic contribution is still cherished within Italian culture. As such, his copious movie production with its contagious entertainment value has been consistently able to appeal to trans-generational and trans-cultural audiences. Sadly, though treasured by his compatriots, Totò has not won the proper exposure and appreciation within the field of Italian Cinema studies outside of Italy and, in particular, in the United States. Such a failure is probably owed to the controversial attitude cinema critics have adopted towards Totò’s artistic production over the past few decades. Given such a gap in scholarship, the time is now mature to introduce a profile of the Neapolitan artist in order to highlight his contribution to the Italian culture. Ultimately, the present work aims at sparking the interest of American film scholars and at prompting more in-depth research on Totò as an Italian filmic and cultural icon.


Attribute NameValues
Author Vittoria Luchini
Advisor John P. Well
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Romance Languages and Literatures
Degree Name Master of Arts
Defense Date
  • 2015-04-17

Submission Date 2015-04-17
  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

  • Permanent withholding; did not follow formatting guide.

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