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The Walls of Malapaga (1949)

Le mura di Malapaga (original title)
A French fugitive arrives in Genoa, where he becomes entangled with an Italian woman and her daughter.


René Clément


Jean Aurenche (adaptation), Pierre Bost (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Jean Gabin ... Pierre Arrignon
Isa Miranda ... Marta Manfredini
Vera Talchi Vera Talchi ... Cecchina, la fille de Marta / Cecchina, figlia di Marta
Andrea Checchi ... Giuseppe, le mari de Marta / Giuseppe, marito di Marta
Robert Dalban ... Le marin / Il marinaio
Ave Ninchi ... Maria, la voisine / Maria, la vicina
Checco Rissone Checco Rissone ... Le faux-monnayeur / il contraffattore
Renato Malavasi Renato Malavasi ... Le dentiste / Il dentista
Carlo Tamberlani ... Le commissaire / Il commissario
Vittorio Duse ... L'agent / l'agente


A French fugitive arrives in Genoa, where he becomes entangled with an Italian woman and her daughter.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa #5706 delivered on 19 September 1949. See more »


Le commissaire: Well?
Maria, la voisine: If she has someone, that's her business. I know nothing.
See more »


Featured in My Journey Through French Cinema (2016) See more »

User Reviews

The burden of being human.
2 January 2020 | by brogmillerSee all my reviews

Considering it won an honorary Oscar in 1949(before the category of Best Foreign Flm became a competitive affair) and garnered awards for both director Rene Clement and actress Isa Miranda at Cannes, the subsequent neglect of this film is indeed mystifying. Its critical success was not reflected in box office returns however, perhaps because the public did not want to be reminded of post-war austerity. I have revisited this film on a few occasions and it never fails to move me. Gabin's career seemed to be in free-fall at this time before Jacques Becker came to his rescue with 'Touchez-pas au Grisbi'. His air of world-weariness, no doubt influenced by his war service, suits the role perfectly. Gabin was certainly no stranger to characters pursued by implacable Fate but this is his final appearance in such a role. The performances that haunt however are those of Isa Miranda and fifteen year old Vera Talchi as mother and daughter. Miranda would never again to my knowledge be gifted such a part and she is absolutely wondrous. Her chemistry with Gabin is palpable. Talchi was a great find but her career thereafter did not alas amount to much apart from playing the love interest in the first of the Don Camillo series. What a pity. This and his films 'Battle of the Rails', 'Forbidden Games' and 'Gervaise' guarantee Clement a place in the Pantheon of great directors. Roman Vlad has written a powerful score and the images by Louis Page of war-torn Genoa add to the films neo-realist feel. . Visconti maintained that the most important thing on screen is to portray the burden of being human. Clement's film certainly fulfils that criterion in no uncertain terms.

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Italy | France


Italian | French

Release Date:

26 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Walls of Malapaga See more »

Filming Locations:

Genoa, Liguria, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Optiphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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