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La legge
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The Law (1959) More at IMDbPro »La legge (original title)

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The Law -- Pigeons and vagabonds populate the town square of Porto Manacore, a corrupt Italian fishing village perched above the Adriatic. Mariette, the gorgeous housekeeper to the town's wealthy patriarch, concocts a daring scheme to marry handsome Enrico Tosso. But the devilish Matteo, an admirer of Mariette, tries to shut out Enrico, by playing him in the town's vicious drinking game, "The Law".
The Law -- Illicit passions pervade an Italian town, where men gather nightly for the cynical "game of the law.


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6.8/10   478 votes »
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Release Date:
11 November 1960 (USA) See more »
Lollobrigida is the Flame...Montand is the Fuse That Sets Them on Fire! See more »
Illicit passions pervade an Italian town, where men gather nightly for the cynical "game of the law." Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
flawed, but highly enjoyable See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gina Lollobrigida ... Marietta

Pierre Brasseur ... Don Cesare

Marcello Mastroianni ... Enrico Tosso - l'agronomo

Melina Mercouri ... Donna Lucrezia

Yves Montand ... Matteo Brigante
Raf Mattioli ... Francesco Brigante
Vittorio Caprioli ... Attilio - il commissario
Lidia Alfonsi ... Giuseppina
Gianrico Tedeschi ... Primo disoccupato
Nino Vingelli ... Pizzaccio
Bruno Carotenuto ... Balbo
Luisa Rivelli ... Elvira
Anna Maria Bottini ... Maria
Anna Arena ... Anna - la moglie d'Attilio
Edda Soligo ... Giulia
Herbert Knippenberg ... Lo svizzero
Franco Pesce
Joe Dassin ... Secondo disoccupato (as Joseph Dassin)
Sonia Barbieri ... La moglie del svizzero
Marcello Giorda ... Il parroco
Teddy Bilis ... Il giudice Alessandro
Paolo Stoppa ... Tonio

Directed by
Jules Dassin 
Writing credits
Roger Vailland (novel "La Loi")

Jules Dassin (writer)

Françoise Giroud (dialogue)

Diego Fabbri  uncredited

Produced by
Jacques Bar .... producer
Maleno Malenotti .... producer
Original Music by
Roman Vlad 
Cinematography by
Otello Martelli 
Film Editing by
Roger Dwyre 
Mario Serandrei 
Production Design by
Mario Chiari 
Art Direction by
Robert Giordani 
Set Decoration by
Jacques D'Ovidio  (as J. d'Ovidio)
Pasquale Romano  (as P. Romano)
Production Management
Baccio Bandini .... production manager
Louis Manella .... unit manager
Antonio Negri .... unit manager
Luciano Perugia .... production manager
Walter Rupp .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jacques Deray .... assistant director
Nino Zanchin .... assistant director
Sound Department
Jean Bareille .... sound recordist: US version
William Robert Sivel .... sound (as William S. Sivel)
Arthur Van der Meeren .... sound recordist: US version
Giovanni Rossi .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jean Castagnier .... assistant camera
Osvaldo Civirani .... still photographer
Roger Corbeau .... still photographer
Jacques De St. Girons .... assistant camera
Alain Douarinou .... camera operator
Enrico Fontana .... assistant camera
Arturo Zavattini .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Daniele Grimberg .... editor: US version
Music Department
Marc Lanjean .... musical director
Other crew
Simone Chotel .... production secretary
Suzanne Durrenberger .... script girl
Gilles Villiers .... production accountant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La legge" - Italy (original title)
"Where the Hot Wind Blows!" - USA
See more »
126 min | Spain:115 min | USA:114 min | Argentina:121 min | UK:114 min | West Germany:105 min
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:16 | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | Spain:13 | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Both Carol Baker and Scilla Gabel had been contacted to play Marietta's part.See more »
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29 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
flawed, but highly enjoyable, 9 April 2004
Author: plaidpotato from United States

The Law exists somewhere in the realm between a Hollywood soap opera and a European art film, with a dash of sexploitation.

This film is all about power--how one gets power, how one can use power (to lay down The Law, or lose power, and how power relates to sex. This film is all about sex. Sometimes, it feels like it's all about Gina Lollobrigida's boobs.

The all-star European cast are all good, especially Lollobrigida and Yves Montand, who has the meatiest role in the film, as a complicated local hoodlum who wants his son to become a lawyer, who wants to be the one to lay down The Law, and who very badly wants Gina Lollobrigida, who doesn't want him in the slightest.

Sometimes, the film approaches high camp, such as a couple of odd and unexpected musical numbers, and when Marcello Mastroianni and Gina Lollobrigida romp in the surf amidst a flock of sheep, or when Gina Lollobrigida is strapped to a table by her mother and a couple of jealous maids and whipped (and with a bowl of hot chilis behind her head that's photographed to look like a halo).

It's a gorgeous film to look at. There's Gina Lollobrigida's boobs. And then there's the quaint, crumbling little backwater Italian fishing village, sumptuously photographed in that deep, saturated mid-century black and white. And there's the sea. It looks straight out of a Fellini film.

Jules Dassin's direction is lively and stylish, and keeps the film eminently enjoyable throughout. He veers effortlessly between the comedic and the sinister and the sexy, often in the same scene.

But, although I found the films very enjoyable to watch, I do have some problems with it. It felt sometimes that Dassin was trying to cram in as much of the material from the novel as possible, even when it didn't best serve the film. There were multiple storylines unfolding, but the film's two-hour running time was not enough to accommodate them in any depth. And so the film meandered back and forth between characters and situations without a great deal of focus. I think Dassin would have done well to trim a couple of the storylines entirely, which weren't fleshed out enough anyway.

Still, though, this was solid entertainment. 8/10

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