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Luisa Della Noce,
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Antonio Pietrangelli's ADUA E LE COMPAGNE (ADUA AND HER FRIENDS) is a slice of Italian neo-realist film-making.
Legal brothels have just been banned, and now four professional girls must find a new occupation. Adua (Simone Signoret, Room at the Top, Ship of Fools), Milly (Gina Rovere, Life is Beautiful, and Best Actress winner for this film at the Avellino Neorealism Film Festival), Lolita (Sandra Milo, Juliet of the Spirits, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for this film by Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists), and Marilina (Emmanuelle Riva, Hiroshima Mon Amour) create a restaurant with the plan to make an illicit brothel of the upstairs rooms.
When obstacles prevent opening their restaurant, they turn to Dr. Ercoli (Claudio Gora), a local "fixer" who'll make the license happen, but only for a price. They carry on, but know the past will eventually come knocking. With a restaurant that's slowly becoming successful, and the attentions of car salesman Piero (Marcello Mastroianni), Adua and the girls adjust to their new lives. One starts a new romance; another reconnects with her young son.
If you are looking for titillation in a story about four prostitutes, you need to look elsewhere, as this film, with some stirring jazz, focuses on the characters in transition.
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