Real-life beauty contest winner Gina Lollobrigida is appropriately cast in Miss Italia. The first half of the film is a dramatization of the events leading up to Italy's number-one beauty pageant. The final portion consists of footage from the actual event. Inevitably, the real thing is more fascinating than the soap-operalike plot, though Constance Dowling has some good moments as a prostitute who hopes to escape her sordid lifestyle by winning the Miss Italia crown. Filmed in 1949, Miss Italia made it to the U.S. in 1950, by which time Lollobrigida's star was on the ascent.
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