This quirky story of a simple soul from an Alaskan mining town adrift in Chicago starts in a charming humorous way as Rocco finds himself cut off from his travelling companions and undertaking a series of increasingly bizarre and complex events which threaten and finally destroy his childlike friendliness and eternal optimism. He meets a variety of strange people, some sympathetic but mostly unfriendly, and the City itself, depicted as grinding down the lives of its inhabitants, is characterized by the harsh attitude of the policeman who patrols the rundown area that Rocco finds himself in. Marcello Mastroianni, always a reliable performer, interprets one of his best roles as Rocco, and there is a fascinating array of mainly unknowns depicting the varied group of defeated citydwellers he has of necessity thrown his lot in with. The ending is bleak and uncompromising. The transformation of Rocco Papalao is complete.
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