Telegram from Sophia Loren to Dermot Breen


Dublin Core


Telegram from Sophia Loren to Dermot Breen


Cork Film Festival, Sophia Loren, Vittorio de Sica, Dermot Breen, Telegram


This is an image of an An Poist (Irish Post) telegram, with an address of San Lorenzo Escorial, from Sophia Loren to the festival director Dermot Breen. It reads Sorry but impossible accept your king [sic] invitation because work regards Sophia Loren. The post office stamp date is Corcaigh 11.V.56. The back is an advertisement for the Irish Sweep which was a lottery established in the Irish Free State in 1930 as a means to finance hospitals. 

Sophia Loren’s actual link with the film festival is one of association rather than presence. She came to the archive in 1956, at the behest of festival director Dermot Breen. We might guess that he invited Loren to the first edition of the festival in early 1956 – an invitation that she politely declined by this telegram in May that year. The short truncated text was typical of this medium which charged according to the word count. (Seemingly Oscar Wilde sent the shortest telegram in history; it was to his publisher asking how his book was doing and the message read “?”. The publisher replied with “!”.) In the pre-internet age telegrams were a thriving form of communication and transatlantic messages were sent via cable from Valentia Island in Kerry. However, with the advent of technology, they are no longer in use in Ireland and the final telegram was sent in 1977.

We note also that in 1961 the festival awarded Loren, in absentia, the Waterford Glass Trophy for outstanding acting performance. This was for the Vittorio De Sica movie, Two Women (La Ciociara) (De Sica, 1960) which was shown on 4th October 1961. The film won Loren the Academy Award for Best Actress; this was the first time an acting Oscar had been given for a non-English-speaking performance. She also won the award for Best Actress at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival that year. The director De Sica was a regular visitor to the Cork festival and, as well as Two Women, the festival screened his Academy award-winning Bicycle Thieves (1948).


University College Cork, Cork Film Festival


Cork Film Festival Collection


University College Cork




Irish Post, Sophia Loren


©Sophia Loren. All rights reserved. Please credit Cork International Film Festival & provide a link back to this site.


Paper, 18cm x 12cm


English, eng; Irish, gle


Cork, Ireland

Text Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Paper, 18cm x 12cm



University College Cork, Cork Film Festival, “Telegram from Sophia Loren to Dermot Breen,” Cork International Film Festival Archive, accessed May 20, 2022,