7.7/10
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19 user 33 critic

Bitter Rice (1949)

Riso amaro (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 18 September 1950 (USA)
Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice ... See full summary »

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(story), (story) | 7 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Walter (as Vittorio Gassmann)
...
...
Silvana
...
Checco Rissone ...
Aristide
Nico Pepe ...
Beppe
Adriana Sivieri ...
Celeste
Lia Corelli ...
Amelia
Maria Grazia Francia ...
Gabriella
Dedi Ristori ...
Anna
Anna Maestri ...
Irene
Mariemma Bardi ...
Gianna
Maria Capuzzo ...
Giulia
Isabella Marincola ...
Rosa (as Isabella Zennaro)
Carlo Mazzarella ...
Gianetto
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Storyline

Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice worker, Silvana, and the soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder. Written by Laura Ernestina Ruberto <lruberto@ucsd.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An earthy drama of human passions among women rice workers in the Po Valley. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bitter Rice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucia Bosé was the director's first choice for the role of Silvana. It wasn't until he met Silvana Mangano by chance that he decided to cast her in the film. De Santis also wanted Mangano to appear in his next picture Under the Olive Tree (1950) but when she got pregnant, she was replaced by Bosé. See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: La monnaie de l'absolu (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Still great after not having seen it since 1949
6 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

First saw Bitter Rice in 1949 and it has haunted me for 51 years. Recently rented it (2000) and it's still compelling. The verrismo genre was new at the time; in 2000 it doesn't have the same impact that it did when Open City, Bicycle Thief, La Strada, et al were all showing at about the same time, and showing us that there was a true, artistic alternative to Hollywood pap.

The then 18-year old Silvana Mangano's earthy performance will endure forever. My only memory from 1949 was of her working and chanting in the rice fields. And her doing a sensual Lindy with Vittorio Gassman. Those scenes were still compelling, half a century later.


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