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Bitter Rice (1949)
"Riso amaro" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  18 September 1950 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,695 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 13 critic

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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Title: Bitter Rice (1949)

Bitter Rice (1949) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Walter (as Vittorio Gassmann)
...
...
Silvana
...
Marco
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 Zennaro ...
Rosa
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

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

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Drama

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Release Date:

18 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bitter Rice  »

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Technical Specs

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(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

The Italian word "riso" has two meanings. One meaning is "rice" and the other being "laughter." The title "Bitter Rice" can just as easily be translated as "Bitter Laughter." See more »

Connections

Edited into Bellissimo: Immagini del cinema italiano (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

Marxist Opiate for the Masses
7 August 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Riso Amaro is bizarrely and wonderfully paradoxical: a movie that decries and deconstructs Hollywood-style escapism at every turn, and ,yet, is itself as pure an opiate for the masses as is known to Italian cinema.

The closest comparison that occurs to me is Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. Both fetishize the technical and narrative magic of classic American films, the boundless optimism of the American dream that only soaring crane shots and panoramic vistas filled with casts of thousands (or at least a few dozen) can convey. Both fondly revisit every last genre movie cliche that can be crammed in edgewise. Yet, both are the work of foreigners asserting their alien and alienated status.

If your sensibility tends to dialectical Marxism, view Bitter Rice as a fascinating demonstration and critique of lumpen-proletariat "double-consciousness". If you could care less about such things, dig Silvana Mangano and Vittorio Gassman doing a rhumba, or the lovely exploited riceworkers hiking their skirts above their thighs and wading towards a watery catfight with non-union laborers ---or all the other delirious and visionary standout sequences that add up to Gone With the Wind as shot by Sam Fuller. Amazing stuff.

In a perfect world, this film would be available in the USA. It isn't at the moment. Slap some subtitles on it somebody, please!


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