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We the Living (1942)

Noi vivi (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 1942 (Italy)
The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear - the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the ... See full summary »

Writers:

Ayn Rand (novel), Corrado Alvaro (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alida Valli ... Kira Argounova
Fosco Giachetti ... Andrei Taganov
Rossano Brazzi ... Leo Kovalenski
Emilio Cigoli Emilio Cigoli ... Pavel Sjerov
Giovanni Grasso Giovanni Grasso ... Stephan Tishenko
Annibale Betrone ... Vassili Dunaev
Elvira Betrone Elvira Betrone ... Maria Petrovna Dunaev
Sennuccio Benelli Sennuccio Benelli ... Saska
Cesarina Gheraldi Cesarina Gheraldi ... La compagna Sonja
Silvia Manto Silvia Manto ... Mariska
Gioia Collei Gioia Collei ... La piccola Acia Dunaev
Bianca Doria Bianca Doria ... Irina Dunaev
Lamberto Picasso Lamberto Picasso ... GPU Captain
Claudia Marti Claudia Marti ... Lidia Augounova
Evelina Paoli Evelina Paoli ... Galina Petrovna Argounova
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Storyline

The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear - the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the grublike fat of the appeasers and oppressors. In a bitter struggle of the individual against the collective, three people stand forth with the mark of the unconquered in their bearing: Kira, who wants to be a builder, and the two men who love her - Leo, an aristocrat, and Andrei, a Communist. In their tensely dramatic story, Ayn Rand shows what the theories of Communism mean in practice. We the Living is not a story of politics but of the men and women who have to struggle for existence behind the Red banners and slogans. It is a picture of what dictatorship - of any kind - does to human beings, what kind of men are able to survive, and which of them remain as the ultimate winners. What happens to the defiant ones? What happens to those who succumb? Who are the winners in this conflict? Against a vivid ... Written by The Publisher of "We the Living"

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The 1942 Film Classic Starring Alida Valli, Rossano Brazzi, and Fosco Giachetti


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

1942 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Ayn Rand's We the Living See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The films We the Living (1942) and Addio Kira! (1942) were produced in 1942 in Italy ("Addio Kira" is part two of the story that begins in "Noi Vivi"). The films were made without the authorization, input, involvement, or, in fact, knowledge, of Ayn Rand author of the underlying work, "We The Living". Because of the war and the fact that Rand was an American, the producers, Scalera Films, made no attempt to secure the underlying literary rights. In these films, the original story was severely corrupted due to addition of several gratuitous propaganda scenes ordered by the fascist party (they controlled all filmmaking in Italy at that time). After the war, Scalera attempted to get the underlying rights from Rand and was refused. Because of this "Noi Vivi" and "Addio Kira" were not and cannot be legally distributed (Rand eventually received wartime reparations from the government of Italy for the theft of her property). Many years later, the negatives of the two existing films were purchased by American filmmakers. Rand granted literary rights and authorized a new film version of "We The Living" to be created out the films on the condition that several significant changes were made. Most importantly, she wanted the propaganda scenes removed and the story to be told in a single film. Because of this, "We The Living", released in 1986, is significantly different from the two unauthorized films. The offending scenes and several subplots of the story have been removed. Running time is now a full hour less than the total of the two films. See more »

Connections

Edited from Addio Kira! (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What I think about "We, the living"
20 March 2011 | by andrabem-1See all my reviews

This commentary is for the transformed and edited American version of the Italian film "Noi vivi" that was released in Italy in two parts - "Noi vivi" and "Addio Kira!". Unfortunately I haven't seen the Italian integral version, but even in the American version the film hasn't lost the grandeur.

"We, the living" ("Noi vivi" Part 1 & 2) - the film is alive. It hasn't dated and it can't simply be dismissed as anticommunist propaganda. "We, the living" goes beyond that. The film was made in 1942 and the action takes place in Russia (then Soviet Union) from the early 20s to the early 30s. Taking into account the historical facts mentioned in the film, the story maybe takes place between 1922 and 1930. Still the story could take place in Mussolini's Italy or any other country ruled by a dictatorship. To give a very simple definition, the film is about the fight of Man against Society, but this is a too narrow definition as "We, the living" is mainly about love, beauty and the right of each one to choose his/her own way.

Kira, a eighteen-year old girl, goes with her family from Crimea to St. Petersburg (then called Petrograd). They are white Russians (the white Russians were against the communists and they were usually of noble or middle class extraction). In St. Petersburg their life is very difficult. The communists are slowly tightening their grip. It's necessary to adapt to the new reality, but will the communists let them breathe in peace? Kira will know Leo Kovalenski (son of the admiral Kovalenski, shot by the communists), who has become an undesirable and is on the run from the reds. They fall in love, but he's in hiding, he can't be seen. It's all very difficult! In the meantime Kira gets to know Andrei, a GPU (the soviet secret police) officer. Attraction. And this attraction will grow. A love triangle and a dilemma for Kira. Each one of the main characters will face a dilemma.

In "We, the living" the cinematography, the acting and the soundtrack give the film a contemporaneous feel. "We, the living" may not have many outdoor scenes but evokes quite well the harsh Russian winters and the snowy landscape... the plight of the white Russians, the crowded streets and apartments, the disillusion that follows in the wake of every revolution... And Alida Valli, as the young Kira, is quite impressing. Fosco Giachetti, as the GPU officer deserves mention too, the acting in general is first rate. As to the film, there's no need to be afraid of the subject - there's no vulgar anticommunist propaganda (as there were so many!). "We, the living" is more multifaceted than you may think (watch it with open eyes and brain). It's a really moving and absorbing film.


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