Six separate episodes: would-be suicides discuss their despair. A provincial dance hall. An investigative reporter posing as a husband-to-be. A young unwed mother. Girl-watching techniques of Italian men. A glimpse into prostitution.
Irene Girard is an ambassador's wife and used to always live in luxury. After the dramatic death of her son, she feels guilty of having neglected him and feels compelled to help people in ... See full summary »
"Without Pity" is an unusual film because it's really a family affair. Not only did the director, Alberto Lattuada direct his wife, Carla Del Poggio, in the leading role, but the film's writer, Federico Fellini, and one of the supporting actresses, Giulietta Masina, were also married! This is very unusual to say the least.
This film stars John Kitzmiller as an American soldier who falls in love with an Italian. This hit close to home, as Kitzmiller (famous for his role in "Dr. No") was an American soldier who stayed in Italy at the end of the war because he fell for and married an Italian woman. In the case of this film, Jerry (Kitzmiller) is nearly killed when the film begins. However, Angela (Del Poggio) takes pity on him and helps to save his life. Later, they are reunited and they begin dating and their relationship is quite touching. However, he also feels a real sense of compassion for her because without his help, she's destined for a life of poverty, prostitution and desperation. But when Jerry gets arrested, Algela's life seems on the downward spiral. What's next? See this film for yourself.
It is interesting that Giulietta Masina played as prostitute in this film, as she later played one in her famous film "Nights of Cabiria". Whether she made a habit of playing these sorts of roles, I have no idea.
I noticed that some refer to this as a Neo-realist film. This isn't exactly the case. While like a Neo-realist film it is filmed in a natural setting outside of the studio (because they'd been mostly destroyed during the war), the actors were professional actors--having already appeared in other films. So, it's sort of a Modified Neo- realist film--a hybrid of traditional and post-war styles.
So, after all this, is it worth your time? Yes. The film is quite good and very touching. However, if you want a feel good film or are depressed, do not watch the film. Despite nice performances, an engaging script and nice direction, it sure is a downer.
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