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The Children Are Watching Us (1944)
"I bambini ci guardano" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  25 April 1947 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,561 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 24 critic

A four-year old boy, Pricò, becomes the subject of emotional folly by his fluctuant parents and inattentive relatives.

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(novel), (screenplay), 7 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emilio Cigoli ...
Andrea - il padre
Luciano De Ambrosis ...
Pricò
Isa Pola ...
Nina - la madre
Adriano Rimoldi ...
Roberto - l'amante di Nina
Giovanna Cigoli ...
Agnese - la governante
Jone Frigerio ...
La nonna (as Ione Frigerio)
Maria Gardena ...
La signora Uberti
Dina Perbellini ...
Zia Berelli
Nicoletta Parodi ...
Giuliana
Tecla Scarano ...
La signora Resta
Ernesto Calindri ...
Claudio
Olinto Cristina ...
Il rettore - The Chancellor
Mario Gallina ...
Il medico
Zaira La Fratta ...
Paolina
Armando Migliari ...
Il commendatore
Edit

Storyline

The film follows the anguish of the four-year-old, Prico, after his mother, Nina, leaves his father, Andrea, for her lover Roberto. Prico is sent to his aunt and then to his grandmother. Nina returns when Prico is sick and vows to give up Roberto, even though he persists in seeing her. The family situation gradually improves until they take a holiday on the Italian Riviera. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The tragic story of a boy of unhappy parents and his struggle for happiness! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Little Martyr  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (1980)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Made in 1942, the film was not released in Italy until 1944 See more »

Connections

Featured in Fejezetek a film történetéböl: A neorealizmus (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING US (Vittorio De Sica, 1944) ***
18 September 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

De Sica's first Neo-Realist film had been neglected over the years and, so, it was a surprise to see it being added to "The Criterion Collection". Ultimately, it's not up to his later more celebrated quartet - SHOESHINE (1946), THE BICYCLE THIEF (1948), MIRACLE IN MILAN (1951) and UMBERTO D (1952) - but, taken on its own modest merits, it's a reasonably effective work coming from an actor best-known for light fare!

As indicated by the title, the narrative is seen through the eyes of the sensitive young son of a working-class couple; the mother is having an affair and the boy is witness to - and the victim of - the inevitable disintegrating family ties, being bounced around from the household of one begrudging relative to another. The couple make a determined effort to stay together for the sake of the child (having to contend, besides, with the nosy and gossiping tenants of their condominium) - but the impetuous young man who has come between man and wife won't give her up so easily, and he finally manages to tear her from them for good. In desperation, the husband commits suicide…

The plot is pretty melodramatic and the film is infused with a good deal of sentimentality (there are plenty of close-ups of the boy weeping his heart out, for instance); clearly, De Sica's hand isn't confident as yet in juggling the various elements that comprise such slices-of-life - for one thing, he has used actors rather than the non-professionals who would come to serve him in good stead in his subsequent Neo-Realist classics. Even so, the three leading performances are undeniably excellent...while the film's real coup is to be found in its devastating - and truly uncompromising - conclusion.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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