7.8/10
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The Children Are Watching Us (1944)

I bambini ci guardano (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 25 April 1947 (USA)
A four-year old boy, Pricò, becomes the subject of emotional folly by his fluctuant parents and inattentive relatives.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emilio Cigoli ... Andrea - il padre
Luciano De Ambrosis ... Pricò
Isa Pola ... Nina - la madre
... Roberto - l'amante di Nina
Giovanna Cigoli ... Agnese - la governante
Jone Frigerio ... La nonna (as Ione Frigerio)
Maria Gardena ... La signora Uberti
Dina Perbellini ... Zia Berelli
Nicoletta Parodi ... Giuliana
Tecla Scarano ... La signora Resta
Ernesto Calindri ... Claudio
Olinto Cristina ... Il rettore - The Chancellor
Mario Gallina ... Il medico
Zaira La Fratta ... Paolina
Armando Migliari ... Il commendatore
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Storyline

The film follows the anguish of the four-year-old, Prico, after his mother, Nina, leaves his father, Andrea, for her lover Roberto. Prico is sent to his aunt and then to his grandmother. Nina returns when Prico is sick and vows to give up Roberto, even though he persists in seeing her. The family situation gradually improves until they take a holiday on the Italian Riviera. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The tragic story of a boy of unhappy parents and his struggle for happiness! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Children Are Watching Us  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (1980)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marcello Mastroianni was extra in this film See more »

Connections

Featured in Fejezetek a film történetéböl: A neorealizmus (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cinematography & Acting for Emotional Depth
20 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

This film caught me by surprise, I should say, gripped me by surprise. First, is its power to move deeply about which others have written. What might easily have seemed hollow and sentimental becomes compelling and searching because of the detailed performances given to all four of the central characters. Most amazing of these is Luciano De Ambrosis portrayal of Prico through whose eyes the story is told. The DVD includes an excellent 1984 interview with De Ambrosis in which he talks about working with De Sica. At one point the father carelessly knocks Prico into the side of a door. We know at once that the hurt to Prico is more emotional than physical, and we sympathize, but at the same time we also are drawn into the father's anguish that has brought him to this abuse. The moment is brief but hits home because it is well prepared for.

Of course the story through the boy's eye is the film through De Sica's lens, and it is always a revealing lens, emotionally caught up, frequently looking around corners or looking up at adult gossip. The world shown occasionally enters dream realities. One actual dream sequence made me think of Dali's questionable sequence in Hitchcock's "Spellbound," just three years later. However, where that is self-conscious and anything but dreamlike, this carried me off and felt genuine. I almost didn't notice as was drawn in, and everything reverberated feverishly as I was brought back. As one of the commentaries makes clear, the film had special resonance with the summer of 1942, just before war broke out. That only adds to its heart-wrenching power. The Children Are Watching Us is a magnificent plea for love and compassion. If it does not touch you, you must be very hard-hearted, indeed.


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