Marietta, servant of aristocrat Don Cesare, is the bellezza of an Italian town where men gather nightly in the tavern for the 'game of the Law,' selecting one by lot to boss and humiliate the others. Illicit passions abound: the judge's wife pursues Francesco, son of crime boss Matteo, who is after Marietta (so is her brother-in-law); Marietta wants engineer Enrico for a husband, but he claims he's too poor to marry. So she decides to steal herself a dowry! All this may lead to an explosion...and some changes in who dictates 'the law.' Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The director Jules Dassin was able to draw well the reality of a small village in Southern Italy, where the existing rules were applied with a double standard. The priest was very much concerned with the attitude of Marietta (Gina Lollobrigida), but not with other situations affecting the town. The game called "la legge" (the law) was not an entertainment instead it was a weapon of intimidation. It appears to be as the behavior of strong animals showing their powers over weak ones. This is an old film, which could be useful to be shown in Italy again. Dassin was able to show various details and characters of the life in the village: the patriarch (Pierre Brasseur), the "pidgeon" (Yves Montand), the man of well-doing (Mastroianni), plus the lady of the family or la Donna(Melina Mercouri) and Marietta, likely to be a kind of spoiled Cinderella. All these ingredients put coherently in an interesting plot made the film attractive to be seen and not only once.
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