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Silvana Mangano (a very lovely & sexy voiced actress) plays a young, poor Venetian woman, Giovanna Masetti. She is struggling with an difficult life as a shop assistant when one day a young count Enrico sees her in the glass shop where she works. Written by
The sound and the editing are rough to the point of being distracting, and the film starts slowly. Those are really the only minuses though. The writing is good, the directing is good for the most part. The actors are well directed at least, and the pacing is good.
There are three real draws to this film: Silvana Mangano's solid performance, a great supporting contribution by Shelley Winters, and a rather intense melodramatic screenplay. Rossen is not credited as a writer, but I find it hard to believe that he didn't have a significant hand in it. Many of the scenes are written in a style quite close to his.
Briefly the story runs as follows, a poor venetian in love with a dead end guy is taken under the wing of a Mambo dance producer (Shelley Winters). She briefly finds fame and then a problematic and complicated marriage with a count (the why of it you will have to find out for yourself). Her marriage is troubled by her relationship with her former lover Mario.
This film has been on my to-watch list ever since seeing a brief snippet of it in Nanni Moretti's "Caro Diario". For the most part I think it was referenced as a dancing film, but if you watch this you'll see there are some subtler ties to (which I can't mention without spoiling the film).
Silvana's closing lines: "Perhaps in my third world, the absorbing world of the Mambo, I could find forgetfulness of the past, and in time peace and happiness."
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