Tribute to Naples, where director De Sica spent his first years, this is a collection of 6 Napolitean episodes : a clown exploited by a gangster ; an inconstant pizza seller (Sofia) loosing... See full summary »
Tribute to Naples, where director De Sica spent his first years, this is a collection of 6 Napolitean episodes : a clown exploited by a gangster ; an inconstant pizza seller (Sofia) loosing her husband's ring ; the funeral of a dead child ; the gambler Count Prospero B. defeated by a kid ; the unexpected and unusual wedding of Teresa, a prostitute ; the "professor" Ersilio Micci, a "wisdom seller". Written by
I recently watched The Gold of Naples after a prolonged search. Like many others, I first learned of this film through Martin Scorsese's documentary on Italian cinema. While not as famous as some of Vittorio De Sica's other films, I assumed The Gold of Naples would eventually be released on DVD. Years have passed and the only American DVD release is a cheap, dubbed, public domain copy paired with The Bicycle Thief. I recently found a subtitled VHS tape from a 90's dealer (Facets or Sinister Cinema). Although the print is the 107 minute U.S. cut with two stories missing, the experience was well worth it. The Gold of Naples is an anthology film and, like most, the stories vary in quality. However, none of these stories are bad (something I cannot say about many anthology films). The first one has Toto as a man with the misfortune to be stuck living with a bully. This local thug moved in and will not leave. This story I found the weakest, but Toto is something of an acquired taste. The second story features the lovely Sophia Loren as the adulterous wife of a pizza maker. Much havoc ensues when the wife's prized jade ring goes missing. The third story is the funniest (and was prominently featured in the Scorsese documentary). In it, director Vittorio De Sica, himself, plays a compulsive gambler who meets his match in the hotel doorman's young son. Lastly, Silvano Mangano plays a prostitute who marries a wealthy man she has never met. This one is the most melancholy of the stories, a far cry from the good humor of the first three. That is all. I wish I could report on the other two stories, but they remain unseen in America. How about a restoration, Criterion?
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