Maria is a housmaid and she is being engaged to Berto for fifteen years. Berto has not a lasting job so he is waiting for the death of his uncle Matteo to come into an inheritance. In the ... See full summary »
The city of Pola is being evacuated after the peace conference of 1947 decided to assign the sovereignty to Tito's Jugoslavia. However the main character decides to stay, thinking that ... See full summary »
Even if Giovanni Episcopo accuses himself of the murder of Giulio Wanzer, his real crime has in fact always been to be too good for his own good. Giovanni used to be a humble, mild-mannered... See full summary »
Women wait anxiously at a minehead in Capodarso, Sicily. Their men are underground. The mine is closing and the miners refuse to come up unless the owner relents. After three days, they ... See full summary »
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. Lad 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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