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Vittorio De Sica,
More than any other movie I've seen, this one draws a dark picture of what the statistical enormity and bureaucratic obscenity of WWII did to individuals during (and after) the Second World War. This is a love story set against the new way of dealing with the logistics of millions of people on the move in wartime Europe -- on either side. The big point is that it's difficult to draw a line between the sides in the brutal impersonality of the events that crush people like the characters in this story.
Kirk Douglas is great, of course, and the direction in the film is always intersting. Hard to believe this was made as late as 53.
See this if you can -- I saw it on TCM recently in a Kirk Douglas festival. For that matter, watch all the Kirk Douglas flicks you can -- the guy had either great taste or great luck.
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