A married American woman has gotten involved with another man while visiting relatives in Rome. She decides that the time has come to break off the relationship, and she makes plans to return home to her husband. But she soon realizes that she is not at all sure about what she wants to do, and she continues to agonize over her decision. Written by
Coming after "ladri di biciclette"(1946)"miracolo a Milano"(1950) and the absorbing and rather unrecognized "Umberto D"(probably De Sica's masterpiece,1952),"Stazione Termini" cannot be put on a par with these former works.It is an interesting effort though.
Montgomery Clift and Jennifer Jones are par excellence the romantic couple ,but in an Italian environment,they look like extra-terrestrials.Do not get me wrong,I do enjoy these two actors' talent ,but I wonder why De Sica ,one of the neorealism high priests, has chosen Hollywood stars whereas ,for instance,he refused to engage Cary Grant for the "ladri di biciclette" lead,and he used rather obscure actors for "Umberto D".Besides,I wonder whether both Jones and Clift are dubbed (or not?) in Italian.I wonder too whether this actress was not influenced by Ingrid Bergman's coming to Italy.When she buys chocolate for the children and when she wants to help the poor family,Jones' character makes me think of Bergman's in Rossellini's "Europa 51" (1951) for a very short while
The plot is banal and the railway station becomes the star of the film.De Sica completely succeeds in showing the life of this hive,with its travelers,its priests,its soldiers,its poor families packed into 3rd class waiting rooms,its trains heading for darkness .The lovers' faces are nicely filmed as if they were the only lights of this obscure world.
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