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Vittorio De Sica
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Peter Mark Richman
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Vittorio De Sica,
"Miseria e Nobiltà" tells the story of the humble families of Felice Pasquale and his colleague who are hired by a Marquis who wants to marry the daughter of a rich but simple cook, So they pose as aristocrats.
When young and attractive Lina Stroppiani, a thief like the rest of her family, tries to steal the taxi of Paolo, together with two accomplices, she can't possibly know that this will have far reaching consequences... Written by
Michel Hafner <email@example.com>
Paolo (Marcello Mastroianni), a Roman cab driver, picks up beautiful Lina (Sophia Loren), who tries to steal his car. The complaint to her father Signore Stropianni (Vittorio De Sica) is no use - he is the head of a whole family of thieves. After Paolo realizes that involving authorities into the criminal doings of the Stropiannis is for nothing, he decides to fall in love with Lina.
It's a zippy, very funny and entertaining comedy with the young screen couple Loren/Mastroianni and veteran De Sica, who really shines in here. Lina is an attractive woman, desired by many men and is never at loss of words. Paolo, a man of integrity and good will (at least it seems like he is), is not as faithful as his rich passengers would have assumed. Together they get deeply enmeshed with each others criminalities.
The film was very successful in Italy and regarded as one of the highlights of the Italian comedy series of the 50s. Mainly the rising star of Sophia Loren (and Marcello Mastroianni), who shaped up well to serious competition to sexbomb Gina Lollobrigida, contributed to the success. And that made Hollywood keeping an eye for her talent (three years later she starred in Kramer's "The Pride and the Passion" among Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra).
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