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i have seen both italien and english versions of this motion picture, and both are very good. however as good as the dubbing may be in this film, the original language version with subtitles is far better. based on a true story, that happened in rome after world war 2, director desantis gets every bit of emotion and pathos out of his performers. lucia bose, raf vallone, massimo girotti, and lea padovani lead an all star italien cast in a drama about an add in the paper for a typist. one job and about 100 women show up for it. while waiting on the staircase to be interviewed, the staircase collapses with many of the women buried beneath the rubble. it is from this point on that we follow the stories of a select few and the despair and tribulations that they had. the acting is superb, the musical score perfect for this type of film. in my opinion. it is guiseppe desantis best film. at this time it is not available on vhs or dvd in the usa. hopefully in the near future it will be, so that many of the film enthusiasts like myself can view it and enjoy it as much as i have. truly a lost title and a gem. respectfully submitted joe rinando.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this film at the National Gallery of Art knowing little about it. Apparently it has had minimal exposure outside of Italy. This is too bad, because the film is thoroughly engaging. It is based on a true story of a tragic accident in Rome, which was a national sensation at the time. About 200 women line up in the stairwell of a building to interview for a modest typist position. The film introduces the women, and their economic desperation. Then tragedy strikes, as the staircase collapses in a harrowing scene. Most of the film is dedicated to the aftermath. The director interviewed some of the women involved. The film follows the stories of ten women. They are working class people in 1950 Italy. You see their dreams and their struggles. There is some comic relief and melodrama, but the film is always deeply sympathetic to ordinary people in postwar Italy.
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