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Give Us This Day (1949)

Passed  -  Drama  -  21 July 1950 (West Germany)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 190 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 11 critic

One of the few (if any at the time this film was made) films shot in England with New York City's 'Little Italy" as the locale. This was Edward Dmytryk's first film after he had refused to ... See full summary »

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(novel), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: Give Us This Day (1949)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Geremio
Lea Padovani ...
Kathleen Ryan ...
Kathleen
Charles Goldner ...
Luigi
Bonar Colleano ...
Julio
...
Giovanni (as Bill Sylvester)
George Pastell ...
The lucy (as Nino Pastellides)
Philo Hauser ...
Head of Pig
Sidney James ...
Murdin
Karel Stepanek ...
Jaroslav
Ina De La Haye ...
Dame Katarina
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Julio's wife
Ronan O'Casey ...
Bastian
Robert Rietty ...
Pietro
Charles Moffat ...
Pasquale
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Storyline

One of the few (if any at the time this film was made) films shot in England with New York City's 'Little Italy" as the locale. This was Edward Dmytryk's first film after he had refused to tell a Congressional Committee whether or not he was, or had ever been, a member of the Communist Party. This is a 'runaway production' shot in England for political reasons and not for the usual USA tax-break reasons. Geremio, a young Italian immigrant to New York City, works as a bricklayer and is courting an Italian girl, Annunziata, by mail. He lies to her that he owns his own home and, after they are married, has to rent one for their three-day honeymoon. The years pass and they are unable to save enough money to get out of their slum tenement, and the 1929 depression brings even harder times to the family that now includes three children. Geremio, in order to make enough money to care for his family, exploits his "comrades" in dangerous construction work. This practice leads to the accidental ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 1950 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Christ in Concrete  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Award: Prix du Festival de Karlovy Vary. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Light in the Window Lost (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Without Love, You're Nothing
Written by L. David Norman
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User Reviews

 
GIVE US THIS DAY (Edward Dmytryk, 1949) ***1/2
17 April 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

It took me a long while to purchase this one (by which time, most of the output by DVD-producing company All Day Entertainment – with whose president, film historian David Kalat, I had the pleasure of corresponding on a number of occasions – had gone out-of-print) and some more before I actually sat down to check it out. Having finally watched this, I must say that the mainly gushing reviews which I had read on the Internet upon the DVD's first appearance – citing the film as a neglected masterwork (though not quite director Dmytryk's best, in my opinion) were very much accurate; incidentally, the main feature bears the official title given above rather than that attached to the DVD i.e. Christ IN CONCRETE, actually the name of Pietro Di Donato's original source novel. Knowing of its pedigree – Dmytryk having famously been one of The Hollywood Ten, jailed for refusing to appear before HUAC (the House Un-American Activities Committee) in view of his alleged past Communist leanings – and its theme – the domestic and professional troubles of struggling Italian immigrants in the construction business with a 1920s New York setting – I had expected to be somewhat unenthused by it, but the reverse proved to be the case, thanks largely to Dmytryk's unerring eye for detail and a handful of naturalistic performances (an achievement which seems all the more remarkable when considering that it was entirely filmed in England with a mostly British cast!). That said, one of the two leads was a genuine Italian – Lea Padovani – and the other an American, fellow victim of the blacklist Sam Wanamaker: both of them are terrific playing husband and wife, though he remains attached to friendly Kathleen Ryan, and their consistently precarious economic situation (exacerbated by the Wall Street crash of 1929) shatters the wife's dream of owning her own home. Also appearing in the film are Charles Goldner (the old man who actually got the couple together), Bonar Colleano, William Sylvester and George Pastell as Wanamaker's team-mates at work, Sidney James(!) as another construction operative who harbors ambitions to start his own company and wants the hero to get in on the business with him, and Karel Stepanek as the elderly landlord of the protagonists' house. In view of its inherent grittiness, unusual compositions (employed during melodramatic passages) and doomed hero, the film has been rightfully likened to the then-prevalent noir style – in which, as it happens, Dmytryk had already proved himself several times while still employable on his home turf. Despite its generous length (115 minutes) and the occasional Marxist viewpoint (it is clearly stressed that Wanamaker's downfall transpires because he dared to stand out from the crowd, even if all he wanted was to improve his family's conditions), the proceedings compel attention all the way through – culminating in the unforgettably harrowing sequence of the hero's death, engulfed in cement after the weak structure he had been supervising gives out. Regrettably, I did not have time to look into the numerous extras featured on the double-sided "Special Edition" DVD – I had actually made a resolution in this regard at the beginning of the year, but which I am now finding myself increasingly unable to accommodate! In closing, I cannot fail to mention Benjamin Frankel's superb music score – no wonder that one is even given the option to listen to it in isolation on the All Day disc.


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