Adriana De Mauro loves Cesar Braggi, but Cesar, honoring his father's dying wish, allows his brother, Antonio, to marry Adriana. As fate wills, Antonio dies in an automobile accident. ... See full summary »
Julia, a divorced American fashion designer, is dying of a tragic, incurable disease. With only ten days to live, she spends her time vacationing in an Italian villa and watching television... See full summary »
Cesira and her 13-year-old daughter, Rosetta, flee from the allied bombs in Rome during the second world war. They travel to the village where Cesira was born. During their journey and in ... See full summary »
Tribute to Naples, where director De Sica spent his first years, this is a collection of 6 Napolitean episodes : a clown exploited by a gangster ; an inconstant pizza seller (Sofia) loosing... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Eduardo De Filippo
Domenico, a successfull businessman, with an eye for the girls, begins an affair with Filumena when she is 17 years old. She becomes a prostitute, but also becomes the mistress of Domenico.... See full summary »
Seven mini-stories of adultery: "Funeral Possession," a wayward widow at her husband's funeral; "Amateur Night," angry wife becomes streetwalker out of revenge; "Two Against One," seemingly... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
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
This film caught me by surprise, I should say, gripped me by surprise. First, is its power to move deeply about which others have written. What might easily have seemed hollow and sentimental becomes compelling and searching because of the detailed performances given to all four of the central characters. Most amazing of these is Luciano De Ambrosis portrayal of Prico through whose eyes the story is told. The DVD includes an excellent 1984 interview with De Ambrosis in which he talks about working with De Sica. At one point the father carelessly knocks Prico into the side of a door. We know at once that the hurt to Prico is more emotional than physical, and we sympathize, but at the same time we also are drawn into the father's anguish that has brought him to this abuse. The moment is brief but hits home because it is well prepared for.
Of course the story through the boy's eye is the film through De Sica's lens, and it is always a revealing lens, emotionally caught up, frequently looking around corners or looking up at adult gossip. The world shown occasionally enters dream realities. One actual dream sequence made me think of Dali's questionable sequence in Hitchcock's "Spellbound," just three years later. However, where that is self-conscious and anything but dreamlike, this carried me off and felt genuine. I almost didn't notice as was drawn in, and everything reverberated feverishly as I was brought back. As one of the commentaries makes clear, the film had special resonance with the summer of 1942, just before war broke out. That only adds to its heart-wrenching power. The Children Are Watching Us is a magnificent plea for love and compassion. If it does not touch you, you must be very hard-hearted, indeed.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?