In the industrial North, Giovanni is a skilled factory worker offered a promotion if he'll go to Sicily for 18 months to assist in a new department. His impending absence strains his ... See full summary »
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 »
An old woman finds a baby among the cauliflowers in her garden. She takes care of the orphan, and calls him Totò. When she dies, he is sent to an orphanage, which he leaves as a teenager. ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
An old man and his son are walking along the road when they suddenly meet a speaking crow, which represents Marxist beliefs. They are soon moved back 750 years in time, changed into monks ... See full summary »
Julian, a middle-aged single doctor, meets his childhood friend Pablo again. The latter is back from Africa and has just married a beautiful young blonde, Elena. Julian falls in love with ... See full summary »
José Luis López Vázquez,
The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
If this movie is at all well remembered or occasionally revived, it is not because of the director or stars. It is because one of its writers and assistant directors was Federico Fellini. Given his later success and directorial vehicles, it is sometimes forgotten that he rose to prominence as a writer of Italian neo-realism movies.
These movies were acclaimed for their efforts to show real people with real problems. In large part they were a response to much of the production facilities in Italy being destroyed in the war and money being in very short supply for film production after the war. If the only setting you have for your movie is the ruined street or the impoverished countryside, you can't ignore that reality in the script.
Director Alberto Lattuada, who had more of a career than promoting Fellini to co-director on VARIETY LIGHTS, directs very competently. Thee story might have played in Italy in 1948 as the story of a woman reduced to prostitution and her American GI lover, but the production people decided to make her lover Black, for shock value in the American market. Carla del Poggia as the woman overwhelmed by events, is excellent when contrasted with the cynicism everyone else in Italy seems to show. That gives this movie an upbeat, neo-realist message: things may be bad, but good people can find triumph in tragedy.
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